If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and is facing the possibility of going to trial, it is important to understand the criminal trial process. As a defendant, understanding the proceedings is empowering, this allows one to be proactive in each step. Below, a Criminal Defense Attorney in Mayville WI, offers an overview of the different stages in a criminal trial.
When the arrest takes place, this puts the legal process in motion. A judge issues an arrest warrant when there is probable cause that a crime was committed. At the time of arrest, one can invoke their right to silence and request a criminal lawyer.
Initial Hearing & Arraignment
After a person has been formally charged with a crime, they will attend a hearing. This is where the judge explains the nature of the charges, rights moving forward, bail amount, and any other specifics. Some jurisdictions combine the initial hearing and arraignment, where a person officially enters a plea. This is typically guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
In the preliminary hearing, the state will demonstrate that they have sufficient evidence to support the charges. Some states handle this administratively, others have a formal court hearing.
Discovery & Pretrial
The next step is for the attorneys from both sides to share evidence that they gathered. Substantial amounts of information are revealed at this time. As part of the pretrial stage, legal counsel can file any number of motions based on this information. An example would be for a Change of Venue.
The trial is broken down into parts. These include opening statements, evidence presentation, witness testimony, and closing statements. Once all of these have been completed, a case will go to a jury for deliberation, and they will determine the verdict. The last component is sentencing.
Those that have been found guilty have the right to file an appeal. A Criminal Defense Attorney in Mayville WI will undertake this responsibility to ensure all the proper channels are followed. A person can only appeal a conviction if they pled not guilty but were found guilty of the charges.
Never attempt to take on a case alone. Turn to a skilled defense attorney that will be able to guide you through the process and assist with all aspects of the case. Visit the website to get additional information or schedule a consultation. You can also visit them on Facebook.