Law

The 7 Steps In a Criminal Case

Criminal Lawyer Hernando County

What comes to mind when you hear the term “criminal case?” What comes to mind? Most people probably imagine a trial in a courtroom with a jury and a defendant on trial. But, Mike G Law, a criminal lawyer Hernando County, understands that there are several stages of a criminal case, from the initial investigation to the final appeal. Here’s an overview of each stage:

The Investigation

The first stage of a criminal case is the investigation. This is when law enforcement officials gather evidence and try to determine who committed a crime. They may interview witnesses, collect fingerprints, and search for DNA evidence.

In addition to evidence collection, another important part of the investigation is interviewing witnesses. Law enforcement officials will try to talk to everyone who may have information about the crime, including the victim, the perpetrator, and anyone who may have seen what happened. Mike G Law, a criminal lawyer Hernando County, understands that they may also try to get information from people who knew the victim or the perpetrator.

The Arrest

Once the investigation is complete and law enforcement has enough evidence to identify a suspect, they will make an arrest. The suspect will then be taken into custody and booked into jail.

The Arraignment

After the arrest, the next stage is the arraignment. This is when the defendant appears before a judge and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to the trial phase.

 

The arraignment is also a time for the defendant to learn more about the charges against them. The judge will read the charges, and the defendant will be able to ask questions about the evidence and the possible penalties they could face if convicted.

Indictment

If the defendant pleads not guilty and the case goes to trial, the next stage is the indictment. This is when a grand jury reviews the evidence and decides whether there is enough to charge the defendant with a crime.

 

The indictment is an important step in the criminal trial process, as it’s when a grand jury decides whether there is enough evidence to charge the defendant with a crime. If the grand jury decides to indict the defendant, they will be charged with a crime and will have to go to trial.

Preliminary Hearing and Pre-Trial Motion

If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence to charge the defendant, the case will proceed to a preliminary hearing. This is when the judge decides whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial. After the preliminary hearing, the defendant may file pre-trial motions, which are requests for the court to do something specific in the case. For example, the defendant may ask for a change of venue or for certain evidence to be suppressed.

 

Attorneys can file several pre-trial motions in a criminal case. Some of the most common ones are:

Motion to Suppress Evidence

This is a motion asking the court to exclude evidence from the trial. The defendant may argue that police obtained the evidence unlawfully or that it is not relevant to the case.

Motion for Change of Venue

This motion asks the court to move the trial to another location. The defendant may argue that they cannot get a fair trial in the current location or that there is too much publicity around the case.

Motion to Dismiss Charges

This is a motion asking the court to dismiss all or some of the charges against the defendant. The defendant may argue that the charges are not valid or that there is insufficient evidence to convict them.

The Trial

The trial is the final stage of a criminal case. This is when both sides present their evidence and argue their case before a judge or jury. If the defendant is found guilty, they will be sentenced accordingly. If they are found not guilty, they will be released from custody.

Appeal

After the trial, either side can file an appeal if they believe there were errors made during the process. The appeals court will then review the case and decide whether to overturn the original decision or let it stand.

Final Thoughts

The criminal justice system is a complex process, and there are several steps involved in every case. It’s important to understand the different stages of a criminal case to know what to expect if you ever find yourself in one.

 

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