What Happens After Arrest
Criminal process in Berks County
Arrest on criminal charges might be a surprise following a traffic stop, or result from an ongoing investigation. For the accused, understanding the road ahead is important when facing criminal charges in Berks County.
Contacting a criminal defense law firm upon arrest is critical. Reputable defense lawyers are available 24 hours a day through an answering or other service. Our firm has served Berks County clients for almost 40 years, making jail visits when needed. A good attorney immediately helps you navigate the booking[H1] process, letting you know what to expect, including the following:
- Booking: After arrest, you may be transferred to the Berks County Sherriff’s Department Central Booking Center. While paperwork is completed, a digital photograph and electronic fingerprints are obtained. Arraignment follows by the presiding Magisterial District Judge. Bail or bond is set or you could be remanded to jail.
- Court dates: After arraignment, a trial date is set for summary offenses and a preliminary hearing date is set for misdemeanor and felony charges. During a preliminary hearing, a judge determines whether prosecutorial evidence is sufficient to support moving ahead with charges.
- Process: Conviction on a summary offense can be appealed within 30 days. If misdemeanor or felony charges are affirmed at a preliminary hearing, the matter moves forward to pretrial motions, plea arrangement, or trial.
If arrested, always get good legal help. Skilled counsel helps you understand what you do not expect—and makes the road ahead a little smoother.