Any type of criminal charges can have a negative impact on your life, even many years into the future. If you are charged with a criminal offense, do not give up hope. You may be able to successfully defend yourself against criminal charges with the assistance of a Lake Worth criminal defense lawyer from Leifert & Leifert.
A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the charges against you and present the various options that may be available to you. Through these efforts, working with legal counsel could enable you to make more educated choices about resolving your case in a positive way. En Español.
What is the Arrest Process in Lake Worth?
Between the initial arrest and final sentencing, there are different stages that nearly all criminal cases go through before they are resolved. In most situations, Law Enforcement Officers complete an investigation to support criminal charges against an individual.
This might occur after or in conjunction with arresting you on probable cause that you have committed a crime. Alternatively, an ongoing investigation may lead to the filing of charges and the Court issuing an arrest warrant.
After being arrested on suspicion of committing a criminal act, you must appear in Court to defend yourself. From the moment you are first detained, you have the right to be represented by legal counsel. This means you should not hesitate to contact one of our criminal defense attorneys in Lake Worth for assistance.
Lake Worth Criminal Cases
The first step of the process after you are charged with committing a crime is an arraignment or preliminary hearing at which you must appear. At this hearing, the Judge would advise you of the charges you are facing and allow you to enter one of three pleas: “not guilty,” “guilty,” or “nolo contendere,” which means “no contest.”
Next, the Judge would set a date for a pretrial conference and then a Trial. During pretrial conferences, the Judge, the Attorney for the State, and any criminal defense lawyer representing you would meet to discuss a potential resolution of the case and address issues involving evidence or other preliminary matters.
How are Criminal Charges Resolved in Lake Worth?
Most criminal cases are resolved by a plea agreement, meaning that the Defendants negotiate a resolution for a Dismissal or a lesser charge and agree to serve a certain sentence while keeping their records clear. If you cannot agree on a plea, the case would go to Trial, usually before a Jury that both Attorneys participate in selecting. In this situation, the Jury would determine whether you are guilty of the criminal act you were accused of.
At the Trial, the Prosecution would present its case first, using various forms of evidence to support its allegation that you committed the crime(s) with which you were charged. This evidence may include witness testimony, photographs, recordings, written materials, and other information depending on the nature of the criminal offense at issue. Your Lake Worth criminal lawyer in acting on your behalf then has the chance to present a case in your defense.
Following the presentation of evidence by each side, the Jury would hear closing arguments from each Attorney and then meet to deliberate, which means that they would discuss the case privately to decide on the outcome of the case. Juries must reach a unanimous verdict in a criminal case; if they cannot reach a unanimous decision, the Jury is “hung,” which means that the Judge would declare a mistrial and the State can retry the case. Alternatively, the Jury would find that you are either guilty or not guilty.
A Lake Worth Criminal Attorney Could Provide Assistance
Criminal charges are serious matters that could have profound effects on your life, some of which may be permanent in nature. Minimizing the impact of criminal charges may be key to protecting your future. To that end, a Lake Worth criminal lawyer may be able to help defend you against pending criminal charges.
While it may seem like there is no way out after the state initiates criminal proceedings against you, you could potentially be able to resolve your case in a more positive manner than you might initially think. You could explore these options in greater detail with the assistance of legal counsel, so call Leifert & Leifert today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our team members.