By: C.D. Owens, Esq.
If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you could
be facing anywhere from 30 days in jail, or even upward to 15 to 25 years
in the State Penitentiary or even life imprisonment. I recommend that
you consult with an attorney whenever you have been arrested or charged
for a criminal offense. Regarding a DUI or other misdemeanors like a domestic
spat with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you are usually in a City Court and
those things will, in most cases, work out for $5,000 to $6,000, or even
less, in attorney’s fees.
It is in Class 2 to Class 5 felonies that the
big problems and consequences exist. They are magnified by criminal records
in prior convictions and by the use of weapons and the simple fact that
there are thousands of fact situations with different crimes involving
violence, alcohol, drugs, etc. At this level and depending on the seriousness
of the crime; e.g., assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer,
attorney retainers may jump from $5,000 in an extreme DUI to $75,000 or
more in Class 3 or Class 2 felonies.
The actual arrest may take place near or at the scene or you may be picked
up by police officers at home or at work at a later date. You will likely
be transported to a location convenient to the arresting officers where
officers may try to interrogate you raising the issue of your right to
remain silent and your right to counsel. I wrote a prior blog on that
particular topic on September 2, 2015. From there you will probably be
transported to the Maricopa County Jail at Fourth Avenue in Phoenix for
booking into the system. Initial appearances and probable cause issues
are handled there at the Jail Court. Appearances are scheduled throughout
the day and night, but will usually take place the same day as the arrest
and booking. Initial not-guilty pleas and bail (if available) are entered.
I will discuss bail issues in my blog next week.
After the initial appearance, the process and procedure may vary. The case
can go to an outlying Superior Court Branch, such as Mesa, where it would
be set for arraignment and entry into the Superior Court system, then
proceeding to a plea agreement or trial and sentencing. Or, the County
Attorney may vacate the foregoing procedure and take the case to a Grand
Jury for indictment. Following a Grand Jury indictment, it would ordinarily
go to the South Court Towers for arraignment and subsequent pre-trial
conference. Disclosure documents are then exchanged by the Prosecutor
and Defense counsel. The Prosecutor may make a plea offer, and arrangements
can be sought for a settlement conference with a Judge agreed upon by
both sides. After all of that, if the case is still not resolved, then
it will be set for trial.
If you would like to meet with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call
OWENS & PERKINS at
480.630.2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.