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Criminal Defense

Usually, a criminal case starts with an arrest report. After that, the prosecutor decides what charges to file. Some cases go to a grand jury for an indictment or to a preliminary hearing, where a judge decides whether enough evidence exists to go forward. Let’s look at how it works.

After an arrest, the police report goes to a prosecutor, whose job is to initiate and prosecute cases. Besides providing dates, times, locations, and witness names and addresses (if available), an arrest report summarizes what happened.

The prosecutor will typically either:

  1. that the case should be charged as a misdemeanor and file a “complaint” with the court.
  2. decide that the case would be a felony and should go to a grand jury, which will decide what charges, if any, to file, or.
  3. decide not to pursue the case.

A police officer specifies the crime or crimes that led to the arrest. Additional charges may also be recommended by officers to the prosecution. Charges are ultimately determined by prosecutors.

When a defendant appears in court for the first time, he or she learns what the formal charges are.

Charges initially filed by prosecutors may change. A prosecutor may not decide what charges to file until after a preliminary hearing, which may take place more than a month after arrest.

If you find yourself facing any of the following legal concerns, contact VICTORIA BARR LAW to retain representation by the firms’ aggressive litigators and trusted criminal defense lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions of Our Criminal Defense Lawyers

You should expect that your criminal defense attorney have the knowledge of the law and experience defending the type of charges you are facing as well as experience in the court where the charges were filed, and that he/she is a skilled litigator and negotiator. Not all criminal defense lawyers are experienced in both state and federal courts, so it is important to find out where the attorney has practiced and if he or she has defended similar cases. In addition, you should expect help with alternative scenario planning, evaluation of your options and risk assessment. Information about the proceedings and possible outcomes must be provided in a timely manner so that you have time to prepare for the outcomes. Finally, you should expect that your attorney will be creative and effective, so that he/she is able to come up with a proper resolution of your case.   

Generally a person who has been arrested is brought to the police station where he/she is “booked”. This means the police will take personal, historical and biographical information. The police will use this information to determine if the individual has any warrants or a criminal history in order to evaluate whether or not he/she can be released from custody and whether the payment of a bail/bond is required. Depending upon the jurisdiction, if the authorities intend to detain an individual, the person may have a right to have their detention reviewed by a judicial official. Generally, the police will file a criminal complaint in court and the individual will be required to appear before that court. During the arrest procedure, officers may also seize property, records, and/or materials as evidence.

Yes, there is a difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge.

You can’t put a price on a powerful defense. While financial limitations are a reality, it is important to prioritize results and reputation when it comes to selecting the right representation for your matter.

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