An Overview of the Criminal Law Procedure

The procedure involved with criminal law is actually quite simple, in theory, but it has a lot of complex factors as well.  Today, we will discuss the three main parts of the procedure, and what it means to you.  If you have been arrested for a crime, then you will definitely want to be aware of how it works, so that you can get the proper legal representation in time to help you when it comes time to go to the trial.

The Arrest

The first step is the arrest.  This is where you are actually arrested and taken in to the local police department.  You may just go in for questioning at first, but if an arrest is made, they will likely cuff you and book you into the county jail.  This is often times one of the most frightening parts of the procedure for some people, but remember you do have the right to remain silent.

The Charge

Next, you will want to take a look at the second step, which is the charge.  This is the actual charge that they are holding against you.  When you are charged, you will go in front of the judge for indictment, and they will set a trial date.  Sometimes, this is the longest part of the process, because you never know how far out the trial will be set.  You may, however, get to bail out of jail to wait for the trial, depending on the type of charge.

The Trial

Finally, you will go to trial.  Sometimes, before the trial occurs, you will be offered a plea bargain.  This will allow you to get a lighter sentence, and if you are guilty it may be one of the best things for you to do.  If you are innocent, and it can be proven by your lawyer, then you should probably wait out the trial.

If you need help with your legal representation, it is a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer.  They have seen many cases, and chances are they have dealt with your situation in the past, and they know how to go about it effectively.  Whether you have just been arrested, or you have an upcoming trial, you will want to make sure that you have someone that you can trust to fight for you on your side!

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How the Criminal Process Works

Most people have never contemplated the idea that they might be arrested.  That is because most people live their lives in a way that is open and honest and are not breaking the law. Yet mistakes are made all the time and even if a person committed no crime there is still a chance that they just might find themselves accused of doing something they didn’t do. Today all it takes is the word of one or two people and you can be accused of committing a crime.  The normal person will not know how the system really works because they have only known the inside of a courtroom on television shows. But all people should be aware of their rights and the process so that they will be able to navigate their way through a legal challenge successfully.

One of the first phases of an investigation will be to question a person. This is done when there is a suspicion that a crime was committed and it is believed that you might have knowledge of that incidence.  Questioning is done without taking someone to another location and should be informal. How you answer questions is very important because it there is probable cause then the arrest can happen. This means that the police officer is going to detain you and deprive you of your right to freedom of movement. This can happen after a search of a home or vehicle in which something illegal is found. There needs to be a legitimate probable cause in order for that search to take place immediately or they will have to get a warrant to search you property.  It is in a person’s best interest to never allow a search because it can only provide something negative to a person’s situation. Even though a person has nothing to hide, there is no reason to allow a search.

All people can be arrested when the police officer has probable cause that the person has committed a felony or the officer sees the person commit a misdemeanor or there is a warrant already issued for that person to be arrested. Once arrested and officially accused of a crime the person is booked, where their picture and fingerprints are taken for the record and the person is held for a period of time. If the person is a danger to themselves or others they won’t be released. Once you are brought before a judge, the accused will be able to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. In most cases they will then be able to get out of jail until the trial on bail.

Types of Crimes Criminal Lawyers Can Help You With

If you have ever been arrested for a crime, then you are probably well aware of the fact that there are different types of crimes.  You have some that are more serious than others, and these come with much harsher punishments.  You should really gain a better understanding of these types of crimes, so that you will be able to tell if you need to have a lawyer on your side.

Felonies

Felonies are the more serious type of crime that you can be charged with.  Certain felony charges are very serious, such as robbery, arson, murder, kidnapping, and rape.  These are really serious, and you really have to be careful.  You can’t just let something like this go onto your criminal background without first trying to fight it with a lawyer.

Misdemeanors

Next, we have misdemeanors.  These include crimes such as public intoxication, vandalism, theft, assault, certain drug charges, etc.  These lesser charges are still not fun to deal with, but they don’t carry near as serious consequences as the felony charges do.  That doesn’t mean that you want them on your record, though!

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

Now, you probably want to know whether or not you need to hire a lawyer.  This is actually something that a lot of people wonder about, but the key is to make sure that you know that having a lawyer on your side is going to make you look a lot better than you would if you didn’t have someone to represent you.  If you don’t know what to do about it, then you might want to try to find a lawyer that will offer you a free consultation, so that you can know what to expect out of the case.

Whether you have been charged with a felony charge, or a simple misdemeanor charge, you will still want to make sure that you have legal representation on your side.  You don’t want to have something that will sit on your record for the rest of your life and keep you from being able to get a good job, go to a great college, or cause you to have to go to prison.  It is extremely important for you to look for a trusted lawyer that will handle your case to the best of their abilities if you really want to keep your record clean.

Why It is Important to Hire a Criminal Lawyer

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If you are facing criminal charges, it is really important for you to hire a criminal lawyer.  They can help you out in a variety of different ways.  Some people take the risk of representing themselves, and it usually doesn’t turn out the way that they had hoped it would.  This is because a lawyer is really able to get in there and learn more about the case, and they can use their expertise to your advantage.  Here are a few of the reasons why you should hire a criminal lawyer if you haven’t considered it already.

They are Knowledgeable About the Laws and Regulations

First, you will find that they really know a whole lot about the laws and regulations in your area.  They will be able to answer any questions that you may have, and they can also see if the charges against you can be held up in a court of law?  They have studies and studied the law and this can really work out to your advantage.

It isn’t Smart to Represent Yourself

Lets face it, representing yourself doesn’t look great.  It says that you didn’t believe in yourself enough to hire an attorney to help you.  If you get up in front of a judge and try to manage it on your own, they may throw the book at you.  Then, you won’t have the opportunity to get representation.

You Have Better Odds with Reliable Representation on Your Side

Finally, you should be aware of the fact that you have much better odds if you have reliable representation on your side.  They will be able to offer you counsel and can negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge, which are all things that you can’t really do too well on your own.  They may even know the prosecutor and be able to get in good with them, especially if they have a good working relationship together.

As you can see, it is really important for you to hire a criminal lawyer if you are facing a criminal charge.  Your criminal record is at stake, and you don’t want to end up having something on your record that will haunt you for the rest of your life.  This is especially true if you are innocent of the crime, and you just need an experienced lawyer to help you prove your innocence.