What are the typical steps in a criminal proceeding in Florida?
After an arrest, a person will go to what’s known as a first appearance or an initial appearance. That’s supposed to be within 24 hours of arrest, where a judge will determine if there’s probable cause for the charge and set the conditions of release. Then there will be an arraignment, where the person is or is not formally charged with a crime and they can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Following a not guilty plea, the case will enter what’s known as the discovery phase, where each side investigates the case, or the evidence that the other side has. Then there will normally be a few pretrial hearings. And if the case is not resolved by agreement, the case will be set for trial.