Any Virginia resident who has ever been arrested knows the uncertainty—and even fear—that can brew in your mind in the aftermath. For some people, an arrest of any kind can be life-changing. For example, many Virginia residents may think that a DUI arrest is a “minor” criminal charge, but such an arrest could cost people their jobs and reputation, or it could impact delicate family situations. So, what can you expect after an arrest?
Expectations can vary, of course, depending on the nature of the criminal charges. But, for the most part, arrestees can expect to quickly learn the charges that have been filed against them, how serious the potential penalties are and what evidence the prosecution intends to use to prove the allegations.
However, it is important to remember that criminal defendants have many constitutional rights that must be protected, both during an arrest and in the subsequent criminal case. Defendants have the right to counsel, they have the right to a trial and they are supposed to be presumed “innocent until proven guilty,” among many other important rights.
Of course, the focus isn’t always on the defendant’s rights in criminal cases, particularly those in which there is an alleged victim, such as in domestic violence or theft cases, for example. That is why it is so important for criminal defendants to have a strong advocate by their side to ensure that their rights are respected and that the rules of criminal procedure are followed. Ultimately, most cases end in plea deals or are dismissed, but there are situations in which it is best for defendants to push their cases all the way to trial.