The Journey Forward After Being Accused of a Crime

The Journey Forward After Being Accused of a Crime

It can be a worrying time if you are accused of a crime. The first thing that you will experience after having your collar felt by the police is communication with a law firm. This will be a relief because their representatives will be doing everything to help you receive a fair trial and to help prove innocence or mitigate a guilty scenario.

So, let us explore the journey that you will take with a legal team such as spodek law group.

Representation When Arrested

You will be glad to have a legal representative at the police station. They will guide you on whether you should be answering questions that may later incriminate you. The rights read out to you during your arrest will indicate this, but you may well have forgotten them due to the shock. It is important to say the right things as the wrong things can be difficult to retract later. You may need time to carefully talk through your situation with your lawyer first.

Choice of Lawyer

You always have a choice of lawyer. You do not have to stay with the one that dealt with your case upon arrest. You can start to explore lawyers or firms with known reputations for success, in order to obtain a specialist lawyer skilled in the kind of situation you find yourself in. There is no substitute for a specialist legal team skilled in a particular area because they will have a detailed knowledge of past cases just like yours. For instance, there are defense lawyers who will deal with harm to another, which can be a life-threatening assault, or one caused by drunk driving. Financially, fraud cases will require a lawyer with legal and financial knowledge to best advise and represent you.

The Court Case

The government will initiate a criminal case through the U.S. Attorney’s Office. There are seven principal steps to the criminal case. The court case comes third after the investigation and charging. Then there will be the initial hearing or arraignment. Following this, there is discovery, plea bargaining, preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, and then the trial.

The initial hearing will generally be on the same day or the day after the defendant has been charged following their arrest. The magistrate’s court is the first court that will be experienced. This is where rights and charges are learned and whether imprisonment will be required before the trial. Pleas of guilty or not guilty will be asked at this early stage. A criminal lawyer will advise on how best to proceed as this will affect the length of any sentence given later.

A discovery process is for the prosecutor to familiarise themselves with the facts of the crime. This will cause a delay to a trial but is commonly a welcome one from the defense lawyer’s point of view because they can be using this time to prepare themselves and their client. There will, for instance, be lay witnesses, expert witnesses, and character witnesses to gather.

Plea bargaining is where the government has a strong case and a deal can be struck to reduce a sentence by avoiding the time and expense of a full trial. You would want a lawyer to talk this one through because it is something of a gamble, as there is always the chance that a jury might prove someone is innocent, even when the prosecutors feel that they have a strong case. 

A preliminary hearing will occur when a plea of “not guilty” has been entered. This will need to be 14 days after the initial court appearance where a defendant is held in jail. This is within 21 days if they are out on bail.

Pre-trial motions are the opportunity for prosecutors or defense lawyers to apply to a court regarding an issue that occurs. It is a process of two steps but it can result in delays. A lawyer will prepare clients for this and it can be to the benefit of the accused.

The main trial will then be followed by post-trial motions and sentencing. There is always the option of an appeal, which a lawyer will help with, advising if there are sufficient grounds for this. Realistically, new evidence would need to come to light later that was not available at the time. There is always hope.

In conclusion, there are many procedures to go through should your find yourself on a legal journey relating to criminal procedures. This whole process can be made easier by having a skilled and understanding defense lawyer.

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