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If you, a family member, or close friend have ever been charged with a crime anywhere in the state of Virginia, you’ve probably seen firsthand how convoluted and confusing the criminal process can be, and you may have some questions about what to expect. In general, the criminal process is similar in all jurisdictions of the state, though there are slight differences in each. Your Fairfax bail bondsman offers you this overview of the initial appearance process in Virginia.

Book and GavelInitial appearance

After you have been booked at a police station, you’ll be taken to a magistrate who will set a schedule for your initial appearance, as well as set your bail. The arraignment will be your first appearance in court. During the proceedings, a district judge will read the charge and ask for your plea, whether guilty, no guilty, or no contest. The judge will also review the bail amount. In the state of Virginia, the initial arraignment is generally held within 48 hours of the suspect’s arrest, although the wait time can be extended if it’s close to the weekend, as the court does not conduct hearings on those days.

Legal representation and bail

Depending on the jurisdiction where your case has been filed, the judge may allow you to be released on bail. In other jurisdictions, first appearance proceedings may be limited to the judge reading your charge asking whether you have an attorney or want the court to appoint one for you. The judge will also likely set a preliminary hearing or trial date, depending on your offense.

In either case, the judge will not yet ask for your plea. Instead, he’ll focus on determining who your legal representative will be, as well as decide whether he should grant you bail. If the judge sets a bail amount, then you will need to post the bail amount in full. Once posted, you will be released by the Detention Facility as long as your records doesn’t show anything that can impede your release, such as a warrant in another jurisdiction.

Bail bonds company in Fairfax

Not everyone post a full bail amount. If you are unable to post bail, you can work with a Fairfax bail bonds company such as Chances Bail Bonds to post bail on your behalf.

The Criminal Law Process in Virginia,