What canI expect for a first time-offense on an aggravated stalking charge?

I have never been arrested and was released without bail but have a court date coming up. What will happen to me at my first hearing and will it be dropped to a lesser crime or am I facing jail time? Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? I’m in Panama City, FL.

Asked on July 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that this is a no-brainer: you need a lawyer.  If you haven't retained one already, do it absolutely as soon as possible.

Your next court date is probably what is usually called an arraignment:  when the charges against you are formally made, by reading them to you in open court.  It's also possible that bail might be set at that time, depending on exactly what you're charged with.

What happens next depends, a lot, on the detailed facts of your case and, quite possibly, on the skill of your lawyer and the mood of your victim.  You cannot dare try to negotiate with your victim directly, but your attorney might have a chance.

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