What happens when I am arrested?

You will be booked at the police station, afforded the right to make a phone call, and be held pending your first appearance in court. You will have the opportunity to have a bail commissioner set a bail, which you can post at the station. 

When I go to court, will I be held or released to come back for my future dates?

A judge, generally in the District Court, will make a determination whether to set a bail or release you on your own recognizance. At times, the government, represented by an Assistant District Attorney, will ask that you be held pending your trial without bail. In that case, the judge will likely give the government three days to prepare for a hearing. 

Do I need a lawyer for the arraignment?

Yes, it is a very good idea to have a lawyer at the arraignment. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you depending on your financial circumstances.

Can I represent myself?

Yes, you actually have the constitutional right to represent yourself, otherwise known as proceeding "pro se." However, you will be prosecuted by a trained lawyer with possibly years of experience who is adept at criminal procedure, the rules of evidence, and cross examination and trial skills. You will be placed at a massive disadvantage from the onset of the case.

How do payments work?

I generally work on a flat fee basis. A portion of the fee is required at the onset of representation and the balance is generally paid in installments.