Being charged with a felony is extremely stressful, especially if you don't know what to expect. What happens after you're charged with a crime, and how long does it take to get a court date for a felony? Let me explain.
What Is a Felony?
Put simply, a felony is a type of criminal offense. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanours, and they can result in jail time of a year or more. You must seek an attorney's advice immediately if you receive a felony charge.
What Happens When You're Charged With a Felony?
First, you'll be arrested on a criminal charge. One of two things will happen:
- You'll be arrested and brought into custody; or
- You'll receive a summons with an arraignment date.
Whether you're arrested or receive a citation, the next step will always be a hearing in the Court of Arraignment.
How Long After Being Charged Does It Take to Go to Court?
If you're arrested, your arraignment takes place the following business day. Otherwise, the summons will specify the date and time to appear.
You could be asked to enter your plea at the arraignment hearing. Most often, defendants plead not guilty, but it's sometimes appropriate to plead guilty. Always consult with an attorney before entering a plea.
- Guilty: Immediate sentencing or the court reconvenes at a later date for sentencing.
- Not guilty: If you plead not guilty, there's a chance your case will go to trial, so the next step is a pre-trial conference. You should normally have a pre-trial conference within 10 days of your arraignment hearing.
How Long Does It Take for a Felony Case to Go to Trial?
Often, it's possible to agree to a plea bargain or deal before a case goes to trial. However, if you can't reach an agreement, the court appoints a trial date.
- The prosecutor should file the formal complaint within 15 days of the pre-trial conference, if the case is going to trial.
- Your trial should start within 60 days of arraignment.
Bear in mind these are not firm dates. Every case turns on its own facts, and the timetable can run longer.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Connecticut
I know how worrying it is for clients facing felony charges. Understandably, you want to move forward with your life, and the waiting can be stressful.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney, my goal is to help you through the process and ensure you know what to expect at each step of the way. Depending on your case, we might be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced, and the firm will fight for your rights at all times.
Are you in need of a criminal defense attorney in Connecticut? See how we can help today.