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Stages of a Criminal Case

You are being accused of a crime, getting the services of the right Las Vegas criminal defense attorney should be the first thing that should be tended to. Serious criminal charges may involve fraud, assault, or any other serious charges. A skilled professional will be able to give you a fair shot at these charges while ensuring that your basic legal rights are not subordinated or compromised. .Below are steps followed in a criminal case

Arrest

The first step of a criminal case is an individual being arrested by the police, if:

1. the officer discovers the person committing a crime

2. there is probable cause that the crime has been committed by that person

3. the officer arrests the person with a valid arrest warrant

Booking

After the arrest, the police will carry out the booking process where the individual is kept in custody, and his photos and fingerprints are taken.

Bail

The suspect can be granted a release in exchange for paying the bail amount. Release on bail is conditional on the suspect agreeing to appear at all scheduled court proceedings in future.

bail money

Arraignment

Arraignment is the first court hearing after being arrested. During an arraignment, the charges made against the defendant are read out by the judge and the offender can choose to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to those charges.

Plea Bargain

plea-bargainDue to the over strained criminal justice system, most criminal cases are settled without going to trial by taking an approach called the plea bargaining. In a plea bargain both, the defendant and the prosecution, gain from the arrangement. The defendant might gain reduced charges to a shorter sentence or lesser crime, while the prosecution gains a conviction by saving the time and expense of a trial. The defendant can avail the services of a criminal defense lawyer in Toronto to facilitate the arrangement.

Preliminary Hearing

This is the stage where it is determined where there is probable cause to believe that the crime was done by the prisoner. If the state applies a grand jury system, the grand jury will hear from the prosecutor, call their witnesses, request the additional investigation and then decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the defendant.

Pre-Trial Motions

Pre-trial motions are presented by both parties; the prosecution and the defense, to resolve final issues and determine what testimony and evidence will be acceptable at trial.

Trial

At trial it will be determined by the judge or the jury whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. This is decided after listening to the opening and closing statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses and jury instructions.

Sentencing

behind-the-barsIf the prisoner is guilty or is found guilty, he will be punished for his crime. The hardness of the sentence is determined by considering several factors like nature of crime, appellant’s criminal history, and degree of regret felt by the defendant. It is advised to employ a criminal defense lawyer to stand a better chance in such cases.

Appeal

If the defendant thinks that the conviction was unfair, he can appeal to a higher court.

Those are the basic steps taken by any criminal lawyer during the proceedings of the legal affairs in the court.