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What Happens if You’re Arrested and Charged with Murder

Someone who causes a death, whether by intent or accident due to negligence, can be arrested and charged with murder. There are various types of murder, with varying penalties, but no matter the cause, the arrested person is likely nervous about the charges they’re facing and whether they’ll be convicted and imprisoned. The following are the steps typically followed between the arrest and the end of the case.

Arrested and Processed into the Jail

If there is sufficient evidence that someone may have intentionally or accidentally caused the death of another person, the police may arrest them. At this point, they’ll be told they are being charged with homicide and will be taken to jail. Officers at the jail will process them into the facility and will let them know when the arraignment will be as well as what they can do if they need to call someone for help. At this point, it may be possible for them to contact a lawyer so they can start getting help as fast as possible.

Arraignment and Bail

The arraignment is the first hearing in front of a judge. At the arraignment, the accused will be formally charged and will find out what the exact charge is. They will also need to plead guilty or not guilty at this time. Usually, this is combined with the bail hearing, in which they find out if they will be given bail. If the accused is offered bail, they will be told how much needs to be paid for them to be released pending their hearings. For murder charges, bail is typically very high and can vary depending on the severity of the formal charges. For instance, those charged with first-degree murder will have a higher bail compared to those charged with manslaughter.

Start Working with a Lawyer

After the arrest, the accused can start working with a lawyer. They may call one as soon as they’re processed or after their arraignment. The lawyer will look into the evidence against the accused, the charges, and what can be done. The accused will need to sit down with their lawyer to discuss the possibility of reduced charges, avoiding a conviction, or of jail time if they are convicted. The lawyer can give them a good idea of what to expect next and can review the options for how to handle the case. The accused will work with their lawyer throughout the case and can get answers to any questions they might have about the charges they’re facing and the likelihood of a conviction.

Plea Deal, Trial, or Sentencing

After the case is underway, there are a few different things that can happen, depending on the case and the choices made by the accused and their lawyer. In some cases, the accused may be offered a plea deal. This generally includes pleading guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for a reduced sentence. The accused can also decide to go to trial to try to avoid a conviction. If there is sufficient evidence and they are likely to be convicted after a trial, they can opt to plead guilty. In this case, the next step would be the sentencing.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with murder, it’s important to know what to expect and how to get help for the case. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about the specific steps that need to be taken in your case.

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