No wife wants to receive the dreaded late-night phone call from her husband telling her that he has been arrested and needs her help getting out of jail. Especially if you have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, you are likely to feel scared, confused, and helpless. You may wonder if you are even permitted to pay for a lawyer for your husband. However, taking quick and decisive action at the earliest possible stage to get your husband represented by quality legal counsel can be the difference in him walking home a free man and him spending months or years in prison.
At The Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have years of experience helping all sorts of clients get their charges downgraded or dismissed. We will be there every step of the way to answer any questions you and your husband may have and to fight to tell your husband’s side of the story. Below, our experienced attorneys guide you through the process that will occur after your husband has been arrested and the best steps that you can take to help ensure that his case is resolved in the most positive manner possible.
Can You Pay for Someone Else’s Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia?
Many people understand that the best thing they can do for a loved one who has been arrested is to get them a lawyer right away. However, many wives may be confused about whether or not they are allowed to pay for a defense lawyer for their husband. You are permitted to pay for a defense lawyer for your husband or for anyone else. However, just because you are paying, this does not mean that attorney-client confidentiality does not apply to you. You will still not be privy to what is discussed between your husband and his lawyer in private conversations unless your husband waives the confidentiality privilege.
The Arrest and Bail Processes in a Philadelphia Criminal Case
Arrests are typically made after an investigation and the granting of a warrant by a judge. Sometimes, warrantless arrests can occur when the officer either sees the crime committed or had probable cause to say it was committed by the arrestee. After his arrest, your husband will be taken to the local police station for what is known as the booking process. The process includes collecting his biographical information, photographing and fingerprinting him, and inventorying any items he had on him at the time of his arrest for safekeeping.
Usually within 24 hours after the booking process, but no more than 72 hours after, a preliminary hearing will be held. This proceeding typically also functions as a bail hearing and most often occurs over videoconference, so that your husband will be in the station or jail and not the actual courtroom with the judge. The state is not required to give your husband a lawyer, but you should be sure that he has one representing him at this hearing. An experienced bail hearing defense lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long will understand the best arguments to make to convince the judge to release your husband on minimal to no bail.
There are a few different options for the judge to consider at the hearing. First, they could choose to release your husband on his own recognizance, meaning without bail. This usually only happens for low-level crimes or infractions, such as disorderly conduct, and when your husband has no criminal history or a very minimal criminal history. For very serious offenses such as homicide, the judge will have the option of setting no bail and holding your husband in prison until the case is resolved. Most typically, cash bail is set, and you can pay it yourself or seek the assistance of a bail bondsman.
The Plea Bargaining and Trial Stages of a Criminal Case in Philadelphia
After the preliminary arraignment, a date will be scheduled for a formal arraignment where the charges against your husband will be read and the judge will ask him to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. His lawyer is likely to advise him to plead not guilty at this point so that they can request discovery and assess the strength of the case. His lawyer will also likely begin plea negotiations with the prosecutor during this time.
If the crime your husband is accused of is minor and he does not have a criminal history, his lawyer can lobby the prosecutor to let him into what is known as a pre-trial diversion program. There are different programs, including the Pennsylvania ARD program, which may help people facing charges and penalties for a first-time DUI in Pennsylvania avoid these severe consequences. As part of any pre-trial diversion program, your husband will likely have to complete some sort of counseling and educational requirements, perhaps do some community service, and stay out of trouble for a period of rime. If he completes the program successfully, the charges against him will be dropped and he will not have a criminal record.
If pre-trial diversion is not a realistic option in your husband’s circumstances, the lawyer will attempt to negotiate for a deal where the charges are downgraded or your husband pleads guilty in exchange for the prosecutor recommending a lenient sentence. Of course, many clients who are innocent may not be willing to take a deal. The deal offered also may not be amenable to you or your husband. If this is the case, our skilled trial lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can and will fight for your husband’s innocence at trial.
If Your Husband Has Been Arrested, Call Our Seasoned Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
It can be overwhelming to find out that your husband is in custody and that it is up to you to get him home to safety. You need the help of an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long to help guide you through every step of this process. We will work tirelessly to get your husband released from custody and to bring his case to a satisfactory resolution. For a free, confidential consultation, contact our office today at (215) 302-0171.