Felonies can fall under many categories: Domestic violence, homicide, DUI, drugs, traffic and other crimes.
If you are arrested for a felony in Kansas, you are far better off saying as little as possible until you obtain or visit with your lawyer. Even if you’re 100 percent innocent, one little detail from something you say could be manipulated and used against you in court.
The aspects of charged with a felony are sometimes complicated. But there’s no getting around this simple truth: Having a felony charge on your record could ruin your life.
Here’s what to expect if you are arrested with a felony in Kansas.
You will get questions from the police. Again, say little. There’s no need to be rude, but do not attempt to “handle the situation” to the police yourself.
From this point on, you are a defendant in need of a good criminal defense lawyer. If your house caught on fire, you wouldn’t hesitate to call 911.The same principle applies here.
The next step is an arraignment, when a defendant is simply read his rights and is informed of the charges against him. Every defendant has the right to an arraignment within one business day of when he was arrested.
So if you have a warrant and decide to turn yourself in, don’t do so before a weekend or a holiday. Those aren’t considered business days, and you’ll be sitting in a jail cell that much longer.
The judge may decide not to set bail at this arraignment, if he thinks you may not show up for a scheduled court date, or if he thinks you are a danger to society. Be prepared for the judge to bring up your past record, or ask you about your personal life.
If the judge does set bail at the arraignment, and you can afford to pay it, you are free until your preliminary hearing. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the judge to determine if there is enough evidence for your case to be sent to a “real” trial. The prosecuting attorney does not have to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, only that there is substantial evidence that you committed a crime.
During this time, attorneys on both sides have the opportunity to make pre-trial motions.
Sometimes, your criminal defense lawyer will be given the option of waiving a preliminary hearing. He will weigh the circumstances and tell you whether or not would be a good, strategic decision.
The next step is entering your plea in a District Court Arraignment. You have three choices …
- You can ask for a continuance, which would give you and your lawyer more time to discuss the strategy of your plea.
- You can plead guilty, after which a case will be established for your sentence.
- You can plead not guilty. If you do that, your case will be set for a pre-trial conference and jury trial.
If you plead not guilty, your defense lawyer’s preparation for the pre-trial conference is crucial. Both sides will be gathering, organizing and presenting their evidence.
At the pretrial conference hearing, the judge must be satisfied that his orders have been followed and both sides are prepared. In some instances, a case will be resolved between the prosecutor and defense lawyer. Otherwise, a date is set for trial.
As a defendant, you have the right to a trial in which there are 12 jurors deciding the verdict. You also have the right to waive a jury trial and have the judge decide.
In any of these scenarios, you’ll be thankful you used Warrior Lawyers, the renowned Criminal Defense firm Ariagno, Kerns, Mank and White, L.L.C. Nobody knows the Kansas legal system like the Warrior Lawyers, who have a proven track record of aggressive and successful defense, both in law and fact. Call them today at (316) 265-5511.