My house was trashed by the police
If the police served a warrant on your home, take photos of it after they leave. If you can’t do it, have someone else do it, and make sure your home is locked up. The police don’t live there, they don’t care if the front door is locked when they leave.
Summons and Prosecution
If you're released from Jail, the state can refile, sometimes within as many as 20 years. Be sure the Court has your correct address, mailing and physical, because if the state cannot find a defendant, it will request and get a warrant. If you get a summons, call a lawyer, find out what it means. This is the beginning of a process that may have a huge impact on the rest of your life.
Arraignment on a Felony
If you are summoned to Superior Court for an Arraignment, you will address the Court for the first time and enter a plea. Always plead “not guilty”. You are invoking your right to make the state to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; you are invoking your rights to receive disclosure, your right to counsel, your right to a jury trial. Don’t go to the arraignment without a lawyer, because the Rules of Criminal Procedure will require several decisions quickly about what judge you will have and the strategy of you defense. Time is of the essence, and good legal counsel is essential as well.
Pretrial Procedure and Trial
The disclosure in the case will tell the tale about the state’s collection of the evidence. If it was done illegally by the state, that is in violation of the constitution, that must be raised in Court. Motions to suppress, motions to preclude evidence, motion to force the state to provide proper discovery are all part of the pretrial process. Those issues must be investigated and litigated to protect you. The evidence you have secured may go a long way to helping your lawyer prevent a travesty of justice when the state uses illegally gather evidence.
At some point you may be offered a plea agreement. A lawyer's advice on whether or not to accept a plea is important because it could effect important rights for many years to come. And only by considering all the information the state has, tempered by a lawyer's advice, can the right decision be made.
The sad fact is that most cases in the Criminal System end with a plea agreement. But not all do.
All lawyers like to think of themselves as trial lawyers. But it takes a combination of skill, finesse, talent, experience and knowledge to actually be one. Don’t be fooled by catchy phases. A lawyer can be zealous and still be inept. The best way to judge is to talk to the lawyer, get to know him and ask questions.