When an accused person has been arrested and is being held in-custody he or she has the right to a hearing within 48 hours to determine probable cause (unless probable cause was determined prior to the arrest). At this "preliminary hearing" the court is required to advise the accused person of (1) the nature of the charge against him or her, (2) that he or she has a right to be represented by a lawyer at every stage of the proceedings, and (3) that he or she has the right to remain silent, and anything said can be used against him or her. If judge is able to find probable cause, he or she then determines whether or not to set bond or bail, which prevents the accused from being released posting some financial guarantee, also sets conditions on the accused person's release, which are meant to control and/or monitor the behavior of the accused while the case is pending.
You are not required to go through this process alone alone. You are entitled to be represented by an attorney. At Stewart MacNichols Harmell, Inc., P.S., we have experience doing what needs to be done in the very short period between the arrest and preliminary appearance to represent our clients at this hearing and to begin preparing their defense. We will prepare material to present to the court such as information about of our client's ties to the community including his or her employment and employment history, family ties and relationships, length of residence in the community, the lack of an extensive criminal record, as well as his or her reputation, character and mental condition, and the willingness of responsible members of the community to both vouch as to the accused persons reliability, and to assist in his or her compliance with the other conditions of release. We will then stand with you at your hearing, present this and other information to the court, and begin the fight to keep you out of jail, and ensure that all of your rights are protected.