What to Expect Following a Felony Arrest in New York

If you ever find yourself under arrest in New York, it’s imperative that you know what to expect. One way to ensure that you understand the post-arrest process in New York is to consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney. If you are arrested, a New York criminal defense lawyer will walk you through the process while aggressively fighting for your rights. Below is some additional information on what happens following a New York arrest.  

First court appearance  

A defendant’s first court appearance is called an arraignment, and it typically takes place less than 24 hours after an arrest. At the arraignment, a defendant hears his or her charges and enters a plea. The judge also makes a determination regarding bail at the arraignment.  

Grand jury action or felony hearing

For felony cases in which a defendant remains in custody, the prosecution must present evidence to the grand jury within six days of the arrest. In addition, the prosecutor may proceed with a felony hearing in lieu of a presentation to the grand jury. At the felony hearing, a judge decides whether enough evidence exists to hold the defendant in custody while waiting for the grand jury to hear his or her case.

Discovery and motions

The parties to a criminal proceeding conduct discovery prior to trial, which is an opportunity for the parties to collect information from one another. Often, discovery leads parties to make pre-trial motions, and these motions sometimes lead to hearings prior to trial. These hearings often affect the types of evidence that may be introduced at trial.

Plea bargaining

A majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains. A plea bargain is an agreement reached with the prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty to a charge. Ordinarily, the charge that a defendant pleads guilty to is a lesser crime than that with which he or she was originally charged.


The majority of criminal cases never make it to trial. A trial can be risky for a defendant, as it’s never clear how a judge or jury will view a defendant’s case. When a case does go to trial, however, it consists of the following stages:

  • Jury selection
  • Opening statements
  • The state’s case
  • The defense’s case
  • Closing arguments
  • Jury instructions
  • Verdict

If a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial, the case then proceeds to sentencing.


If you’ve been charged with a felony in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible against all criminal charges. Please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a consultation.