A Bronx Criminal Lawyer’s Guide – The Path From Arrest to Arraignment in Bronx County, New York

A Bronx Criminal Lawyer’s Guide – The Path From Arrest to Arraignment in Bronx County, New York

There is a general belief among lawyers, as well as the general public, that all criminal matters that begin with an arrest somewhere in the United States, follow a precise, consistent, and direct track that leads to a formal trial. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. There are many factors that have an important impact on the process after capture. These factors include, but are not limited to, the location where the person was arrested, availability of a justice center operating nearby, access to legal counsel, availability of prosecutors, clerks, stenographers, computer systems and many other important elements. for any legal process. People arrested in remote areas, at night, can spend several hours in police stations with little or no access to lawyers. Most are surprised to learn that many of the Judges who are summoned to carry out charges – often behind police stations – are not lawyers after all. Many indictments took place without counsel, prosecutors, clerks, or even stenographers. Fortunately, a person who is arrested in New York City’s Bronx County, with very few exceptions, will follow a very organized path that leads directly to his or her convictions. There are courts, lawyers, prosecutors, stenographers and all the people, or systems, needed to move this matter in a timely and orderly manner. Even so, the process may appear Kafkaesque to the general public, and even to untrained legal practitioners. What follows is a roadmap outlining the actual journey nearly all cases take from the time of arrest to the formal process of arraignment.

All criminal matters in the Bronx, New York, begin with a crime report, by either a civilian witness, or a police officer. A civilian who reports a crime can be an actual eyewitness, a victim of a crime, or a victim’s representative, such as a parent. In addition, certain confidential professionals, such as social workers, doctors, lawyers or legal guardians, are required by law to report certain violations that come to their attention. The police can initiate a criminal complaint against a person without a victim or witness. Typically, this occurs when police observe someone committing an offence, such as driving drunk, possessing a weapon, or selling and possessing drugs.

Once a complaint has been filed by a civilian, or observed by the police, potential suspects cannot be arrested immediately. Attempts by the police may be made to encourage suspects to speak to the police in an attempt to obtain incriminating statements, or provide evidence, or the proceeds of a crime. As soon as the suspect speaks to the police, or seeks legal counsel, the actual arrest can be made. An arrest occurs when individual freedom has been physically restricted, either by handcuffs, physical restraint on the suspect, or by threats of violence. After being arrested, the suspect is usually taken to the local police station for processing. The processing includes fingerprinting the suspect to determine the true identity of the individual based on prior criminal history. If the person has no previous police records, the fingerprint report will show they do. Once the individual has been printed, his NYSID number will appear on his fingerprint report. NYSID stands for New York State Identification. A person with previous police records will be assigned the same NYSID number. A person who has never been arrested will be assigned a new NYSID number. NYSID numbers are used to track a person’s criminal history throughout New York State. It also reveals whether the person has an unpaid subpoena, owes the court a fine, or is being sought in another state, or jurisdiction. The suspect was also given an arrest number. The number of arrests relates only to this particular arrest. Apart from printing, and examining the records of those arrested, photographs were also taken for identification purposes.

The next step in this process is filing an actual police complaint. The police complaint report is filled in by the arresting officer. It provides a brief description of the offence, the evidence obtained, the name of the victim or witness, if any, and the exact charges against which the accused was charged. The arrest report also contains the name, address and personal information of the accused. This information, called a genealogy, usually comes from the defendant himself, and forms part of the official report. Once all this information has been collected, the accused, arrest report, fingerprint report and all other relevant information, is sent to Central Booking. Central Booking is located in the Bronx Criminal Court Building. Here all the files prepared by the police were turned over to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. The prosecution reviewed the entire matter and decided whether to proceed with the arrest process or not. If the prosecutor refuses to prosecute due to insufficient evidence, or for other reasons, the accused will be released from custody, and all records and photos collected will be deleted. If the matter is not dismissed, a formal criminal court complaint will be prepared by the prosecutor.

A criminal court complaint is a more detailed complaint of all the allegations made against the accused. It contains information about the evidence obtained, names of witnesses, time and place of the crime alleged, and affidavits from the witness who complained, or the arresting officer. Once this affidavit has been reviewed and signed, the whole matter is forwarded to the criminal court for indictment. Arraignment is when the accused is brought before the court and is publicly notified that certain criminal charges have been filed against him. Prior to indictment, each criminal court complaint was assigned a file number. The docket number relates only to this particular criminal court complaint. However, prior to the actual indictment, the suspect, who is now the defendant, is entitled to legal counsel. The lawyer assigned to, or hired by, the defendant will be provided with a copy of the formal criminal court complaint, along with a copy of the defendant’s criminal background. Lawyers will then be allowed to speak with the accused before arraignment. The purpose of this interview is for the attorney to inform the defendant about the charges that have been filed, obtain important information, such as defense witnesses, discuss bail-related issues, and answer any of the defendant’s legal questions. Once completed, the defendant was then taken to court for arraignment. The actual arrangement usually takes no more than a few minutes. The Prosecutor usually informs the Judge of the seriousness of the case before the court, and whether or not bail is required. The prosecutor also notified the defense whether or not any statement had been made by the defendant, and if the defendant was identified in the lineup, or by other means, such as photo identification. After the prosecution has finished addressing the court, the defense attorney speaks on behalf of the defendant. The main objective of the defense at this point is to obtain the defendant’s acquittal without bail, or on minimum bail conditions. Lawyers may argue that the matter before the court is a misdemeanor, is not sufficiently legal, or is the defendant’s first offense. Lawyers could also argue that the defendant maintains strong community ties, such as work and family, and is unlikely to bail if released. At this point, the Judge made a decision for bail, and adjourned the matter for further legal proceedings, finalizing the indictment.

Alexander Sanchez