Navigating The Legal Process After An Arrest: Steps In A Criminal Case

Criminal Lawyers Newark
Rispoli & Borneo P.C.

Being arrested and facing criminal charges is a daunting experience that can have life-altering consequences. Understanding the legal steps that follow an arrest is crucial for anyone facing this situation.

Arrest And Booking

The arrest is the initial stage of a criminal case, and it occurs when law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe that an individual has committed a crime. After the arrest, the individual is typically taken to a police station or booking facility for processing.

During the booking process, personal information is collected, fingerprints and photographs are taken, and the individual may be questioned. It is crucial to remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney during any police questioning. Invoking these rights is advisable to protect your legal interests.

Initial Appearance And Bail Hearing

After an arrest, the individual is brought before a judge for an initial appearance. During this appearance, the judge informs the defendant of the charges against them, and bail may be set.

Bail is a financial guarantee that the defendant will appear in court for subsequent proceedings. The amount and conditions of bail are determined by the judge, taking into account factors such as the severity of the charges and the defendant’s flight risk. Securing legal representation at this stage can help you navigate the bail process effectively.


The arraignment is a formal court proceeding where the defendant is informed of the charges against them and asked to enter a plea, which can be “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.”

It is crucial to consult with an attorney before entering a plea at the arraignment. A knowledgeable attorney can provide legal advice, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and guide you on the most appropriate plea to enter based on your circumstances.

Pre-Trial Proceedings

After the arraignment, pre-trial proceedings begin. This phase involves discovery, where the prosecution and defense exchange evidence, witness interviews, motions, and negotiations.

During pre-trial proceedings, your attorney will work to build a robust defense strategy. They may file motions to suppress evidence, challenge the legality of the arrest, or negotiate with the prosecution for a favorable plea agreement. Having an experienced attorney by your side is crucial to protect your rights and explore all available legal options.


If a plea agreement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial. At trial, both the prosecution and defense present their cases, and a judge or jury determines the verdict.

A criminal trial is a critical juncture in the legal process. Your attorney will advocate on your behalf, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue the law to support your defense. It is essential to have a skilled trial attorney who can ensure a fair and thorough presentation of your case.


If a defendant is found guilty at trial or enters a guilty plea, the court proceeds to sentencing. Sentencing can involve fines, probation, community service, restitution, or incarceration, depending on the nature and severity of the charges.

Your attorney can play a vital role in influencing the sentencing outcome. They may present mitigating factors, argue for a reduced sentence, or explore alternative sentencing options, such as rehabilitation or diversion programs.

Call Our Firm Today

Facing a criminal case after an arrest is a complex and challenging process. It is essential to have knowledgeable legal representation to guide you through each stage of the proceedings, protect your rights, and work toward the best possible outcome.

At Rispoli & Borneo P.C., our team of experienced criminal lawyers is dedicated to providing you with the legal assistance and representation you need during this challenging time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled Newark criminal lawyers and take the first step toward protecting your rights and obtaining the best possible outcome in your case.