Being arrested, being charged with a crime, or realizing that you are the target of a criminal investigation can be frightening. You may be facing the prospect of prison time, severe fines, and other consequences that would affect your personal and financial security. If you were charged with a crime, you could benefit from seeking the advice of an experienced Jupiter Criminal Lawyer.
Strong legal representation could help ensure that your rights are protected throughout any criminal proceedings you may be involved in. A practiced Defense Attorney at Leifert & Leifert could work tirelessly to investigate your circumstances and assess the best application of a defense in your case.
What are the First Steps in a Criminal Case?
Criminal cases typically begin when a Court finds probable cause to issue a warrant for a person’s arrest, or issues a notice for someone to appear in Court on criminal charges. Following an arrest, Law Enforcement Officers book the person in the local jail, where they may have a monetary bond set for their release, depending on the nature of the charges. If you were not able to bond out immediately, you would first make an appearance before a Judge to have your bond amounts reviewed.
What is Arraignment?
An Arraignment involves entering a formal plea to the criminal charges, which will either be guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Sometimes, Defendants will appear at this Hearing, but other times their Attorney will enter a written plea on their behalf. At this stage in the criminal proceedings, it can be important to have an experienced Jupiter Criminal Attorney advocate on your behalf.
Proceeding with a Case in Jupiter
It is up to the Prosecutor to review all arrests and determine whether to file formal charges. If they decide that there is sufficient evidence, formal criminal charges will be filed with the Court in the form of an Information. If the Prosecutor decides not to file formal charges, however, the case is over.
If they file charges, the next step is the Discovery process. Discovery is a routine part of every criminal case and consists of the exchange of evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photographs, video, and other documents. A Jupiter Criminal Lawyer is entitled to view all evidence in support of the charges, and the Prosecutor is entitled to view any evidence that the Defense plans to use to fight the charges.
Resolving Criminal Cases
Many cases are resolved by a plea agreement, which can be enacted at any time during the criminal proceedings. In some cases, there may be problems with the evidence or the legality of the case, which could motivate the Prosecutor to resolve the charges by offering a lesser sentence than what you might receive in a Trial. In other cases, when the parties cannot reach a plea agreement, the case must proceed to a Jury Trial.
What is a Jury Trial?
In a Jury Trial, a group of private citizens listens to evidence presented by both the Prosecution and Defense. Both sides introduce documents and present testimony from witnesses, but Criminal Defendants have the constitutional right to not testify if they do not wish to do so. At the end of the trial, the Jury finds the Defendant guilty or not guilty of any charges.
Look to a Jupiter Criminal Defense Attorney for Help
If you were accused of committing a crime, every action you take throughout the criminal proceedings is important. An experienced Jupiter criminal lawyer could help you understand and protect your rights. Seeking legal counsel may be essential for you to successfully navigate the complex and nuanced criminal justice system.
Contacting an Attorney at Leifert & Leifert can be highly beneficial. We work tirelessly to review evidence and build a case in your defense. Call today to schedule a free consultation and case review.