When someone is arrested, that person likely experiences fear, uncertainty and anxiety in the immediate aftermath of interacting with law enforcement officials. This is completely understandable, since most people are never arrested – their interactions with law enforcement are probably limited to traffic violations. So, in the confusion after an arrest, most people have more questions than answers. So, what can you expect in a criminal case?
Well, for starters, you can expect to be summoned to court fairly quickly in order to be read the charges that are being brought against you. You have the right to know what you will be charged with. Initially, most people enter a “not guilty” plea, as the case progresses. From there, the case will enter the pre-trial phase, in which “discovery” is completed. “Discovery” is when both sides can find out more information from each other about the case in question. Most importantly, the prosecution must produce all of the evidence it has in the case.
If, at any point, a defendant believes the best path forward is to attempt to negotiate a “plea bargain,” that may be an option. After all, not every criminal case goes all the way to a trial. However, in some instances, pushing the case all the way to trial is, in fact, the right move. At trial, the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime in question.
Protecting your rights
If you have been arrested, it is understandable that you have questions – pressing questions, indeed. At our law firm, we work hard to try to make sure our clients understand all of their options. For more information, please visit the criminal defense overview section of our law firm’s website.