I’ve been arrested, and bailed out, and they told me I have to go to court in 20 days. Should I wait until then before getting legal help?
Definitely not. The period between an arrest and that next court date represents a vitally important time period. The police arrest citizens because they think there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, and that the person arrested committed the crime. This is not the same thing as a decision to prosecute. That decision is made by an attorney in the State Attorney’s office, known as a filing attorney. He or she decides whether to file charges and what charges to file. Without our help, they will make this critical decision based solely on the information from the police. As you can imagine, the police will always seek to justify their arrest, and seek prosecution. They will not present your side – which almost always results in formal charges – often the most serious charges – being filed. We begin fighting for you before any charging decision is made. We frequently can obtain the best possible outcome during this brief window in time, before the prosecutor makes up his mind to prosecute you. Don’t wait, and allow a stranger to make what could be the most important decision about your future – without your voice ever being heard – and your defenses presented.