Many criminal cases end when a criminal defendant accepts a plea bargain offered by the prosecution. However, if you decide to continue on in your criminal case, there are many things you must know. We will help you understand the step-by-steps involved in your case and what you should expect.
What are the steps in the process and what do they mean for me?
Arrest: A police officer will arrest you if they witness you committing a crime or has probable cause to believe that you have committed the crime. After you have been arrested, you will then be booked and possibly placed in custody or told to appear in court at another time.
Bail: In some situations, you are granted the opportunity of bail, which you can pay for a release. You may also be released on your own recognizance, which means that you do not have to post bail, but you must promise to appear at all scheduled court appearances in the future.
Arraignment: Here, the judge will read the charges filed against you and you will either plead guilty, not guilty, or not contest.
Preliminary Hearing: Criminal charges will then be brought though a “bill of information.” This hearing is used to establish probable cause and, if there is no cause, you will not be forced to stand trial.
Trial: Here, you will be found either guilty or not guilty. The prosecution must be able to find you guilty through evidence. Witnesses will be heard and testimony will be presented through this process.
Sentencing: Lastly, you will be sentenced. The court will determine what penalties to impose based on the severity of the crime, your criminal history, and your personal circumstances.
Of course, this may not be the end of the line for you. You can always ask to have your case reviewed by a higher court. Your case could essentially be re-tried in some cases. This is why it is important to have a defense attorney working beside you in terms of your case to answer all of your important questions and help you move forward. Call us today for more information on how we can help you.