All the legal proceedings are really complex and also consist of several stages.
So do criminal cases as well.
As you have landed on this article, we can assume that you are looking for how criminal cases begin, proceed, and finally end.
There are some cases that are pretty much simple, and at the same time, there are some cases that include a lot of twists and turns.
That is why it is always recommended to consult with a lawyer who is Skilled Criminal Defense in Van Nuys. Only the legal professional will be able to give all the necessary pieces of general information that are applicable to your case.
A Criminal Case Going Through The Justice System
We will always recommend you consult with an experienced and skilled Van Nuys Criminal Defense Attorney. At the same time, we are also here to guide you with the answer you are looking for on the internet.
The process of a criminal case begins with an investigation by an officer who is part of a law enforcement agency. That can be your county sheriff, local police department, or FBI Federal Bureau of Investigations.
During the investigation, the officer observes the situation, checks the spots, and collects and examines as much evidence as possible.
When the law enforcement officer restricts the free movement of a suspect using legal authority, an arrest occurs. In order to make an arrest, the officer requires probable cause of making an arrest or, in most cases, an arrest warrant from the judge.
3. Charging A Crime
The officer summarizes the investigations they have made in reports and also presents those reports along with the related evidence to the prosecutors. After reviewing the report, the prosecutor decides whether to file any criminal charges or not.
4. Initial Hearing Or Arraignment
A little after the defendants are arrested and charged; they appeal before the judge for initial hiring of the case. Here, the defendants learn more about their rights along with the charges against them.
During the hearing or arraignment, the court also takes the defendant’s plea, determines the defendant’s custody status, appoints a public defender if needed, and also sets future court dates.
It is the particular process through which the defendants and also the prosecutors get to know about the other side’s case. Previously the prosecutors used to be unaware of the defendant’s case information. But, at present, a two-way exchange of evidence is required to determine the truth.
6. Plea Bargaining
It is the most common way of resolving criminal cases. It is basically an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant in order to resolve a criminal case without reaching trial. In almost every jurisdiction, once the defendant has been charged, a plea bargain can take place.
7. Preliminary Hearing
All those defendants who plead not guilty to all those felony charges, which are entitled in most states in order to preliminary hearings. Defendants, either charged with misdemeanors or, in several cases, by grand jury indictment, are not at all entitled to all those preliminary hearings.
The major right to any jury trial in all felonies, along with most misdemeanor criminal cases, is actually guaranteed by the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution, along with the laws of different states. The defendant has the authority to waive a jury and let a judge decide the case.
In case the jury finds that the defendant is actually guilty or the defendant itself pleads guilty or has no contest, the court will process the sentences of the defendants. Usually, sentencing takes place at a sentencing hearing, or it also can happen at the time a defendant enters a plea of no contest or guilty.
It is not at all necessary that the criminal case will end with a guilty verdict. In reality, after conviction, a defendant can always file an appeal and ask a higher court to review and change a decision of the lower court.
So, now you have the basic idea about the entire process of a criminal case. It starts with an investigation and ends with not sentencing but an appeal.
Isn’t the process a complex one?
This is why it is always the best and safest option to take help from a Van Nuys Criminal Defense Attorney.