If you are facing arrest for assault charges, you may not know what to expect. During the initial hours after arrest, you probably have a lot of confusion and possibly fear.
It may help to understand the immediate legal actions so you can properly prepare.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Offices of the United States Attorneys, the first court hearing, known as the arraignment or initial hearing, takes place shortly after arrest. During this hearing, the judge will review the charges with the defendant and make sure he or she understands their rights. These include the right to remain silent during any and all questioning by law enforcement and the right to an attorney.
If the defendant does not already have an attorney or cannot afford one, the judge will assign a public defender to the case. The attorney will briefly discuss the case with the defendant and then the defendant will enter a guilty or not-guilty plea.
During this hearing, the judge may also decide if the defendant is eligible for bail. According to the South Carolina Legislature, a judge will typically release a person facing a noncapital offense on his or her own recognizance. This means no bond is necessary for release pending trial. However, a judge may outline certain conditions if he or she determines the defendant may flee or pose danger to the community. These conditions may include:
- Bond requirement of a specified amount
- Restrictions regarding living arrangement, travel or personal associations
- Custody supervision by a designated organization or individual
Instead of a bond posting requirement, the judge may require the defendant to pay a cash deposit that may not surpass 10% of the bond amount.