Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
Ringgold: (706) 935-8864
Criminal Law FAQs - Shawn Bible Law Firm

Criminal Law Frequently Asked Questions

USA Flag GavelSometimes bad things happen to good people. If you've been arrested or are being investigated, you need someone you can count on to help you tell your side of the story to the court. If you face the possibility of being accused of a crime, contact an attorney as early in the process as possible.

Timeline of a Criminal Case

Investigation: During the investigation of a crime, the police review the facts, interview witnesses and gather evidence against suspect(s). When the police think they have enough evidence, they can ask a judge to sign an arrest warrant for a suspect.

What happens if I am arrested?
If you are arrested for allegedly breaking the law, the case is taken before a magistrate judge who may set bond for appearance in court. The defendant is usually �booked� at the local jail before he can be released on bond. The police may also try to question a defendant before release.

Interrogation by police after arrest
If questioned while under arrest a person has a right to remain silent. Any statement you make will be used against you in court. You have a right to have an attorney present to advise you of your rights during any questioning. Police are required to advise you of your rights prior to interrogating you while under arrest. If you are a suspect in a criminal case or have been arrested never speak to a police officer without an attorney present.

Arrest and Bail: After being arrested, a suspect will go before a magistrate judge, who will either set bail or decline to set any bail so that the suspect must remain in jail until the trial of their case. For some serious offenses a hearing must be in held in Superior Court before a bond can be set.

What is Bail?
Bail is money or real property that is deposited with the court to ensure that the person arrested will return to court. If the Defendant returns to court as required, the bail will be returned at the end of the case. However, if the defendant does not appear in court or violates bail conditions, the bail can be forfeited to the court.

What are Bail Bond Companies?
Bail Bond companies are in the business of posting bail for defendants. Fees charged by bail bond companies are usually based on a percentage of the bond.

Preliminary Hearing: In Georgia a magistrate judge can hold a preliminary hearing if the defendant is in jail or has bond conditions. The prosecution must then prove that there is enough evidence supporting the charges against the defendant so that the case can be bound over for trial.

Arraignment: The accused first appears before the judge at an arraignment. At this proceeding, the judge informs the accused of the criminal charges against them and ask the defendant if they wish to plead guilty or not guilty. Typically, arraignments can be waived if the defendant�s attorney files a waiver of arraignment.

Plea Bargaining: Sometimes a defendant and the prosecution can negotiate an agreement that resolves a criminal case before trial.

Trial and Sentencing: At trial, the attorney for the state and the defense attorney will give opening and closing statements, introduce evidence and question witnesses. If found guilty, the court will impose a sentence, which may include time incarcerated, fines and fees, court costs, restitution to victims and probation for a set period of time.

What is an appeal?
A defendant who is found guilty of some or all charges is entitled to an appeal to the Court of Appeals. An appeal is a request that a higher court review the decisions of a lower court. Grounds for an appeal may include insufficient evidence, violation of Constitutional rights or mistakes made by the judge in the case.


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108 Cove Road
Chickamauga, GA 30736
across from Gordon Lee Mansion
in downtown Chickamauga

6203 Alabama Hwy
Ringgold, GA 30736
on the second floor of the
Ringgold Telephone (RTC) building

(by appointment only)
(706) 935-8864
Fax: (888) 516-4709