Arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana - Chambers Law Office
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Arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana

Criminal Defense Attorney for those arrested in Hamilton County or Indianapolis

Arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana

What happens after you are arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana? 

If you have been arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana, you probably have a lot of questions. This post will look at what may happen shortly after the arrest and what you might expect. 

Immediately After You are Arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana

Usually, if you are arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana, it is because there was either an active warrant issued by a judge or because an officer believes he or she has probable cause to arrest you for a crime. 

Immediately after the arrest, (either for an outstanding warrant or outright arrest for a suspected crime) the police officer will handcuff you and transport you to the county jail for processing. Processing involves getting your photo taken, fingerprints recorded, and your personal information cataloged. After that, you will be scheduled for an initial hearing, either in Hamilton Superior Court or Carmel City Court, depending on where the criminal charges are filed. 

Hamilton County, Indiana Initial Hearing and Bond Review

Your first time in front of a judge is typically at the initial hearing. (If your bond has been posted, the initial hearing may be scheduled out a few weeks. If you are in custody, the initial hearing will be such sooner).  

In Hamilton County, the initial hearing is the first time a judge will review your charges and determine if there is probable cause for your arrest. If you do not have an attorney at this hearing, the judge may read the charges to you, review your constitutional rights (including your right to counsel and right to bond) and review the bond set for your case, if you have not already been released from jail. You may be released on your own recognizance (OR’d), given a cash bond, surety bond or held without bond. A cash bond can be paid by anyone in cash. A surety bond must be posted by a bail bondsman and typically, the person posting bond must pay 10% of the bond amount to the bondsman as a non-refundable fee. (See I.C. 35-33-8). 

If there are any additional release conditions, the judge will review those, as well. These can include conditions such as a no-contact order, home detention pending trial or alcohol monitoring. 

Your Rights at the Initial Hearing in Hamilton Superior Court & Carmel City Court

In Indiana, you have a right to counsel at every stage in a criminal proceeding, including the initial hearing. For example, if you are in custody and request a bond review, counsel may be appointed for you during that hearing, until you can hire an attorney yourself. Additionally, you have the right to remain silent, so do not make any statements about your case, because they can be used against you later on at trial!

At the hearing, the judge should inform you that a plea of not guilty is being entered for you, and will become a formal plea of not guilty after 10 days for a misdemeanor or 20 days for a felony. Most judges in Hamilton County enter this initial plea of not guilty automatically; however, if you are asked whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty, In most cases, you should plead NOT GUILTY. There are many legal issues that an attorney can review, even in the simplest of cases, and pleading guilty at the initial hearing waives those issues and can also create additional consequences that you may not be aware of or understand. (See I.C. 35-33-7-5).

Waiving the Initial Hearing in Hamilton County, Indiana or Carmel City Court

If you hire an attorney prior to the initial hearing and you are charged with a misdemeanor in Hamilton Superior Court or Carmel City Court, your attorney can file paperwork with the court to waive the initial hearing. If this occurs, then you do not have to appear in court for that hearing, and instead, your lawyer will review the charges and your rights with you. Waiving the initial hearing can save you a trip to court, avoiding having to take more time off from work. However, there are a few instances in which attending the initial hearing can be beneficial, such as if you are charged with DUI, so you should discuss this option with your attorney. 

Other Issues During the Initial Hearing in Hamilton Count, Indiana

Along with reviewing your charges and release conditions, other preliminary matters may be discussed at your initial hearing. You may be scheduled for a trial date or pre-trial conference. You may be asked if you will hire an attorney or if you need to request the appointment of a public defender. Also, if you were charged with DUI or OVWI and the judge finds probable cause for your arrest, the court can suspend your driver’s license for failing a chemical test. All of these issues will be discussed with you at the hearing or with your attorney if the hearing is waived. 

Julie Chambers – Hamilton County & Carmel City Court Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Hamilton County, Indiana or Carmel City Court,  Chambers Law Office can help. As a former deputy prosecutor, Julie Chambers has unique experience both prosecuting and defending many criminal cases, and she is here to help you navigate the system and make sure your rights are defended.

*You should always discuss your case with an attorney, as each case is different and no two cases will be handled the same. This blog should not be a substitute for qualified legal advice. 

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