Going through a criminal case can be difficult, no matter the charges, especially for a person who has never been charged before. It is crucial for a person to hire a criminal law lawyer as soon as possible once they have been charged, because the sooner a lawyer is working on the case, the better the chances of a favorable outcome. With this information, people can better understand the steps they will need to go through so they can be properly prepared for the process.
- When a person is arrested, the district attorney will review the case and all of the supplied evidence to determine whether or not the individual should be charged with a case or if the charges should be denied. It is crucial a person has a lawyer working on their side during this time since they may be able to prevent their client from being charged.
- If charges are brought against the person by the district attorney, the charged individual will have their first appearance before the judge. During this hearing, the judge informs the individual of what they have been charged with and the maximum penalty they can be given. They are also informed about their right to hire a lawyer. Those who cannot afford a lawyer can be granted one through the court.
- If the crime is a misdemeanor, the plaintiff will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If felony charges have been brought, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
- The arraignment is the first appearance for the defendant. This is when the defendant is formally charged.
- The criminal law lawyer will then represent the defendant through their trial where a jury of their peers will decide whether they are found guilty or innocent.
- Should the defendant be found guilty, the sentencing phase of the trial will commence. If the defendant’s lawyer feels the sentence is not fair, the case can be appealed.
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