Just because you have been arrested does not mean that you will actually be charged with a crime. In most cases, an officer arrests you because they believe that you have committed a crime. This belief must be supported by probable cause for the arrest to be lawful. The person arrested is then taken to jail and in most cases assigned a bond amount. It should be noted that there are certain crimes that you are not entitled to a bond. Please read the bail or bond for a further discussion or contact David J. Sobel P.A. at 954-383-3000.
After you are arrested, the police forward all of the reports, witness statements and other supporting documentation for their arrest to the Office of the State Attorney. These cases are sent to the case filing division. It is this division within the Office of the State Attorney who makes the decision:
1) Was a crime committed?
2) If a crime was committed, what is the appropriate charge?
The Office of the State Attorney generally tries to make these formal filing decisions within 21 days of the arrest. This is a crucial time in any criminal case. During this time, it is important to run our own parallel investigation where we can locate witnesses and take statements. This information can then be forwarded to the Office of the State Attorney in an effort to persuade them not to file formal charges, or to file lesser charge that are more appropriate.
It is important to note that the State Attorney’s office has the sole discretion to decide whether to file formal charges against you. Even if the alleged victim in the case “does not want to press charges,” the Office of the State Attorney may still file formal charges. They are not the alleged victim’s charges to drop. The Office of the State Attorney will make the decision to file formal charges based upon the standard of 1) was a crime committed and 2) do they have a reasonable likelihood of conviction.
For more information on what to do after an arrest, contact David J. Sobel P.A. at 954-383-3000 for a free consultation.