If you are arrested you will be taken to the jail in the county where you are arrested. Within 24 hours you will see a judge for a First Appearance. There the judge will appoint our office to represent you if you cannot afford a lawyer and qualify as indigent under Florida Statutes. You will also be told what the charges are and the judge will consider setting a bond. If you can make bond, you will be released from jail. Generally, monetary provisions of a bond may be paid in cash or satisfied with a surety bond. If our office has been appointed to represent you, as soon as you are released call and set up an appointment with your lawyer.
Your next appearance before a judge will be Arraignment. At arraignment you will be notified of the charges that have been filed and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest, you may be sentenced at that time. If you enter a plea of not guilty your case will be set for a pretrial approximately four to six weeks in the future.
At your pretrial the judge will hear any motions that have been filed and either continue your case for another pretrial or set it for trial. Often, cases are resolved at pretrial by an agreed upon plea agreement being approved by the court.
If your case is not resolved by a plea agreement it will be set for trial. At trial a jury will be selected and both sides will be entitled to present evidence and arguments to the jury. The jury will then render a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If the verdict is guilty you will be sentenced. If the verdict is not guilty you will be discharged and the State cannot again try you for the same crime.