Usually, when felons’ criminal record is discussed the following questions are asked. What is in a felon’s felony record? When were they charged? And how long was their sentence?
In thinking about each of these felonies record related questions, one of the first things that comes to mind is “at what point does a felony go on a felon’s record?”
So, When Does a Felony Go On Your Record?
This blog post will address the question of when a felony goes on a felon’s record.
Arraignment and Indictment
Whether upon suspicion or actually committing a crime, an individual will have his/her first court date after being arrested. This is called an arraignment, the court’s proceeding to formally inform and advised a criminal defendant about the charges levied against him/her. At this point they can enter a plea deal to the charges.
In some states, whether accused of a felony or misdemeanor, an arraignment is required in all cases where the accused is subject to face a jail or prison sentence, while other states only require an arraignment in felony cases.
Following arrest, arraignment must occur within a reasonable time according to the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the defendant the right to a speedy trial. This an is appearance of the accused before a judge or magistrate in open court.
In cases which an arraignment has not been set for months, the defendant’s attorney may petition the court to dismiss the charges. The judge will then review the cause of the delay to decide whether the delay was reasonable.
If it is determined to be unreasonable, the charges will be dismissed. Otherwise, an arraignment date will be set, and the legal process will continue.
A felony indictment is in the form of a document. The indictment is usually read before a judge at a hearing, which is sometimes called an arraignment.
However, the formal arraignment does not take place until the accused has been arrested and formally charged.
The purpose of a felony indictment is to inform the accused of the charges, and to signal the legal counsel to prepare a defense.
In a way the felony indictment is a form of protection for a suspect. A person is entitled to not be prosecuted until a Grand Jury has determined that there is enough evidence to support criminal prosecution.This is guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment which states that “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment of a Grand Jury.”
In many states, a Grand Jury issues an indictment for federal crimes, but in a few other they don’t.
Instead, those states make a presentation to a judge or magistrate at a lower Court to determine whether the prosecutors have enough evidence to accuse the suspect of committing the crime.
Upon adhering and completing the steps in the arraignment process, the trial can now commence. The prosecutor will present necessary evidence and call witnesses to the stand, if any.
During this time, the defense will carefully examine the evidence, and listen to witnesses’ testimony. The defense will begin to cross examine the witness regarding what they said in their testimony.
After this, both the defense attorney, and the prosecutor will give their final remarks. At this stage, the jury will be asked to consider the evidence and testimony upon reaching a verdict.
After reaching a decision in the case, the judge will then read the verdict aloud.
If the suspect is acquitted, the case is closed. But if not, and he or she is convicted, they will be held for sentencing.
A conviction enters the court’s System as soon as the judge read the verdict. And usually, a felony will go on a felon’s record immediately, however, this depends on the court’s backlog.
in most cases, a criminal case manager is present in the courtroom to make sure that whatever felony is recorded on a felon’s record instantly.
Supporting the Accused after Conviction
At this stage, the accused and convicted need as much support as they can get. families and friends can express their love to their loved one by coming together to offer support. Depending on the nature of the crime, some prison terms may last for decades, while others, a few months.
At this point, the convicted felon will know exactly how long the jail term is, so encourage them, and offer all the support you can, the road ahead is long, and they need all the strength they can find.
Read also: Felony Expungement: How Long Does A Felony Last Before It Can Be Expunged?