The Palm Beach County Arrest Process
The Palm Beach County Arrest Process can be unnerving and all too often, innocent people suffer accusations of criminal acts, followed by arrests, by overzealous law enforcement eager to close a case as quickly as possible. A loose interpretation of the law and the facts in favor of the complainant and against the accused result in unfounded and unjust arrests.
It is difficult to describe the myriad consequences that often follow one after an arrest. Aside from
the obvious emotional impact – as a traumatic, frightening and highly stressful experience – it often wreaks havoc on professional and personal relationships.
Despite the emotional, spiritual, and personal toll, the arrest is not the end – it is the BEGINNING.
Within 24 hours of an arrest, a person must appear before a judge for a First Appearance Hearing. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.130(a). At said hearing, the judge will determine whether there was probable cause for the person’s arrest, and, if so, what is an appropriate bond for the charges brought by law enforcement against the person.
All persons, except those charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment, and where proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, are entitled to a reasonable bond. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.131(a). The judge is required to set a reasonable bond that protects the community and assures that the accused appears in court, See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.131(b) (1).
- It is essential to have an experienced and aggressive attorney at a First Appearance Hearing to protect the rights of the accused.
- It is essential to have an experienced and aggressive attorney at a First Appearance Hearing to ensure that the accused has not been arrested illegally or charged with crimes that they did not commit, and, if that has happened, to ensure that the judge corrects such an illegal arrest.
- It is essential to have an experienced and aggressive attorney at a First Appearance hearing to ensure that the release of the accused on a reasonable bond, based on the circumstances of the accused individual case.
Following First Appearance, the State Attorney has 30 days to file formal charges against an accused person who has remained incarcerated. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.134. The failure of the State Attorney to file formal charges within this 30 day period should, in most cases, result in the accused person’s immediate release from custody. Id. However, in some cases, the State Attorney can request an additional 10 days to file charges. Id.
During this time, LeRoy Law works tirelessly on behalf of the accused. Through focused investigations, legal research, persistence, and skilled negotiations, LeRoy Law strives to have all criminal charges dismissed or “No Filed” by the State Attorney, making the State Attorney fully aware of all the facts that law enforcement has chosen to disregard or ignore in their rush to arrest.
In the event of the filing of formal charges, the accused will be set for an Arraignment Hearing. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.160(a). At the Arraignment Hearing, after reading the formal charges before the Court and the accused enters his or her plea to said charges. Id. Entering a plea other than NOT GUILTY at Arraignment is rare.
In most cases, an experienced criminal lawyer will waive Arraignment by filing a written plea of not guilty. This then permits a reasonable time to prepare its case for trial. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.160(d). During this period, the State Attorney must disclose to the defense all of its witnesses, exhibits, evidence, and police reports. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.220(b). In Florida, with the filing of felony charges the defense is also entitled to depose all the State’s witnesses. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.220(d).
Preparing a case for trial is a complicated, challenging, and time-consuming process. If hired to represent you, LeRoy Law will vigorously defend all criminal charges up to and through trial. Fortunately, for LeRoy Law’s clients, jurors routinely return just and appropriate verdicts when the State Attorney fails to concede.
If you, or someone you know, have been charged and would like to know more about the Palm Beach County arrest process (from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, West Palm Beach and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas contact me directly, Criminal Attorney Joshua LeRoy, at: 561-290-2730. Or use the form below to drop me a note. Let me know a bit about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.
-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.