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View Full Version : how long before court after arrest? (Moved from Novels)



KemalKinali
06-10-2014, 03:23 AM
In my novel, the MC is forced to help with a bank robbery. His family is threatened and he can gain information to make the robbery possible. So he does it because of the threat to his family. Say they are arrested, how many days would be realistic for a court date afterwards? And anyone have an idea what the sentence would be? Same even though he was forced?

alexaherself
06-10-2014, 03:28 AM
Say they are arrested, how many days would be realistic for a court date afterwards?

It varies enormously from country to country.

There'd be the question of bail or custody, pending trial, to be dealt with also? A preliminary bail hearing, in many countries, would normally be within 24-48 hours of being charged, I think.


And anyone have an idea what the sentence would be? Same even though he was forced?

Again, it depends enormously on a variety of factors.

In some countries "coercion" could even be a defense to a criminal charge (under some circumstances). And in most, I think it would be highly relevant in mitigation of sentencing.

T Robinson
06-10-2014, 03:46 AM
As with many things, it depends. Different jurisdictions have different methods and time frames. However, you need to understand what you mean by "court."

The process has certain steps that are similar across jurisdictions. This is generic and simplified and refers to State charges.

(1) The arrest itself, if the person was not caught during the commission of the crime is one thing. A person, usually a certified law enforcement officer gives a sworn statement to a judge that (a) a crime was committed under the criminal code for the jurisdiction. (b) that the court has jurisdiction over the county where the crime was committed. (c) there is probable cause that person X committed the crime. (d) if the person actually lives in a different county, there are usually things coordinated between different agencies

(2) Bank robbery is a specific charge that is a federal violation. Ironmikezero or one of the other members with Federal experience can give you the particulars for the federal issues.

(3) At a state level, the first court appearance is a bond (some call it bail) hearing. Generally that is within 72 hours. Bond, if any would probably be set high.

(4) After that comes arraignment/plea deals/trial. That could take years.

(5) Remember that if the person is already on probation for another offense, additional complications appear.

Summary: it depends on what you need for your story. He may see a judge fairly quick, but that does not mean he gets out.

Give more details and Jim or one of the attorneys can give you a better idea. Where/specific charge/mitigating circumstances/ when/current day or years ago?

My first question would be why did he not go to a LEO he trusted and set up the crooks?

See what I mean? details enough for an answer.

HTH TR

amergina
06-10-2014, 03:58 AM
I'm going to move this to the story research thread, where it'll get more exposure. :)

Hold onto your hats!

KemalKinali
06-10-2014, 04:10 AM
It's a bank robbery happening in Millcreek, Salt Lake City, UT.

The date would be today.

I haven't started writing this far, since this will be happening very late in the book, but I need to know all these things before I can effectively write. I thought he would be too afraid to go to the police since his family had been threatened (someone broke into their house while they were sleeping, painted a skull on the wall and left a note to tell how easy it would be for them to kill them in their sleep), but it might be stupid.

Mid-robbery, he will take his mask off to show the cameras and possible hostages that he is not doing it willingly, and most likely be the cause for their arrest, which he wants. Even if he ends up in jail, as long as the "bad guys" end in there, too. However, I would (if it would be possible in a realistic world) want for him to get out relatively fast again, as that would slowly near the end of the book.

I hope I make myself clear. I'm very, very tired.

T Robinson
06-10-2014, 04:31 AM
My opinion: He takes a mask off mid-robbery, the robbers will just shoot him so he can't identify them.

I suggest more thought on your plot.

jclarkdawe
06-10-2014, 04:57 AM
He gets arrested. He sees what the inside of a jail cell looks like. Future is a long time in a small room. Like ten years or more. In a Federal max prison to start out with.

He's going to cut a deal of witness protection in exchange for his testimony. His problem is going to be if they don't believe him.

Take a look at the Patti Hearst story.

Showing his face would seem more likely America's dumbest criminal. I don't know how that conveys he doesn't want to be there.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

KemalKinali
06-10-2014, 03:28 PM
This is why I love this site. Even if I have a dumb-day, where I can't even think obvious things through, you people are helpful. Thank you all. I'm repping everyone in this thread. I found a solution. They will not get caught. It will be a "small" bank, and they will get away with some money.

ironmikezero
06-10-2014, 10:14 PM
As mentioned, in the US bank robbery is a federal violation (see link):

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2113

It is also a state violation (see link);

http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_06_030100.htm

This constitutes concurrent jurisdiction (not double jeopardy). Persons so accused may be prosecuted in both state and federal courts. Upon conviction(s), sentence(s) may be ordered served concurrently or consecutively. Point worth mentioning - there is no more parole in the federal system.

Pragmatically speaking, the two prosecutors (US Attorney and District Attorney) typically work out the prosecutorial procedure and attendant logistics. One court usually defers to the other for the first trial. Evidence introduced therein is almost always admissible in the subsequent (second) trial.

Any arrest, other than at the scene by responding officers, would be pursuant to a warrant based upon a sworn affidavit, Bill of Information, or a Grand Jury indictment.

Baring mitigating circumstances, arrested persons must be presented before an appropriate court as soon as reasonably possible (typically within 72 hours). Bond/bail may be set, or not, at this first appearance. A date is usually set for an arraignment (formal notification of charges, entrance of a plea, arrangement for counsel, motions, etc.).

The time factor plays a role. Subsequent proceedings will move at a pace that comports with case law in reference to the speedy trial aspects of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution. The state has similar requirements (see link);

http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE77/htm/77_38_000700.htm

Coercion is generally a legitimate defense, but very hard to prove.

FWIW, traditional bank robbery is very, very difficult to get away with these days; and it usually doesn't produce that big a cash haul. If your tale goes in that direction, be careful; there are far too many ways for your bad guys to get caught.

Eva Lefoy
06-11-2014, 06:06 AM
okay, anybody know anything about aggravated assault?

Washington State. One man beats the crap out of another with intent to harm. He's arraigned in 24-48 hours. I assume he gets out on bail for no priors. Upstanding citizen, etc.

Would it be safe to assume trail and sentencing within 9 months? Or faster?

The case would be complicated by other victims of the man he beats coming forward with their testimony and also by BDSM consent law interpretation.

Thanks!

Eva

WeaselFire
06-11-2014, 07:30 AM
It's a bank robbery happening in Millcreek, Salt Lake City, UT.
Then you'll want to check Salt Lake City courts to see what the timeline is.

In Florida, if you are arrested you will go before a judge within 24 hours. Then the process begins. Bank robbery will get the Feds involved, if it's a Federal Reserve bank, and that can changes timelines as well.

Jeff

ironmikezero
06-11-2014, 09:25 PM
okay, anybody know anything about aggravated assault?

Washington State. One man beats the crap out of another with intent to harm. He's arraigned in 24-48 hours. I assume he gets out on bail for no priors. Upstanding citizen, etc.

Would it be safe to assume trail and sentencing within 9 months? Or faster?

The case would be complicated by other victims of the man he beats coming forward with their testimony and also by BDSM consent law interpretation.

Thanks!

Eva

I'd recommend beginning your research here...

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9a.36

The propensity for an arrested person to be granted pre-trial release (bond/bail) is usually based on two factors; danger to the community, and potential flight risk. If those two factors are deemed satisfactory by the court, a reasonable bond would likely be set.

In pragmatic terms, nine months to a trial date might be reasonable, however, if you have multiple complainants periodically coming forth with more accusations of assault, more than likely the prosecutor would prepare a more comprehensive case for presentation to a Grand Jury, in anticipation of a multi-count indictment. Your time line could easily double.

Any defense motions will also extend the time frame.

In most states (and the federal system) after a conviction, the court would very likely order a pre-sentence investigation. The results thereof would be taken into consideration at the time of sentencing. So, add another six to twelve weeks to you time line.

Absent an early guilty plea (think plea bargaining) in the process, you'll find that the wheels of justice turn at an agonizingly slow pace, but they nonetheless grind on unrelentingly.

Think about what your story needs, and craft your plot accordingly. If you decide to delve into the legal process, get it right - there is no substitute for the due diligence of careful research. Best of Luck!