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Florida felony case process

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Drug Offenses, White Collar Crimes

Being arrested on a felony charge in Florida can be much different from a misdemeanor charge arrest. The first issue is the determination of bond, as those charged with a felony are rarely allowed release on their own recognizance as is often the case with misdemeanor charges filed on individuals with non-violent low-level charges. Material case details matter significantly when judges make a bond decision, and substantial bond amounts are common in serious cases. There can also be court demands as a condition of being released.

Arraignment and indictment

The first criminal law requirement for felony defendants is the reading of the charges by the prosecutor in arraignment. Many defendants will have the first appearance in court with the case then being sent to a grand jury for a formal indictment. This typically happens when someone is arrested on the incident and not necessarily by service of a warrant issued by a circuit judge.

Pretrial hearing

Also known as docket sounding, each defendant will appear at a pretrial hearing where evidence is disclosed and the merits of the case are discussed by each attorney. Also known as discovery, the defense attorneys meet with the prosecutors and are allowed formal access to material case evidence the state will be using in prosecution.

Trial phase

Many felony defendants will actually want to take their case to trial when exercising their full rights to confront their accusers. Each side will participate in jury selection immediately before the scheduled trial with the defense counsel having two strikes for each one provided for the prosecutor.