Lawyers help people who are accused of crimes before they go to court. Initially, the District Attorney (DA) investigates the charges and presents them to a grand jury. An experienced lawyer may investigate and find that there is insufficient evidence to indict. In some instances, the DA may be willing to listen and drop the charges. However, the DA may proceed, and the case is indicted.
The first step in the court process is the arraignment. The Criminal Defense Lawyers Spokane Valley WA know their way around the courtroom. They have defendants prepared for this court appearance. During the arraignment, the defendant is officially presented with the charges. The judge finds out a little more about the case including:
- whether the defendant has a lawyer
- whether the defendant pleads guilty or innocent
- whether the bail amount must be set
- whether future court dates need to be set
In some states, the next step is a preliminary hearing. These hearings are held for defendants who plead not guilty. However, some states only have them if the defense makes a request. Further, the preliminary hearing will not be held if the case is indicted by the grand jury. Also, the Criminal Defense Lawyers Spokane Valley WA may decide to waive the preliminary hearing. Visit Jcooney.com and learn more about the criminal justice system. If the preliminary hearing is held, the DA must show the judge that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. In most instances, the judge allows the case to go forward.
The DA may offer a plea bargain during the time between a preliminary hearing and trial. Defense lawyers have a lot to do with this. If they are familiar with the court, they know what prosecutors are more likely to offer a deal or a plea to a lesser charge. Criminal calendars are crowded, and many prosecutors prefer to offer a plea. The advantage of trusting a lawyer is knowing they will be honest about whether the deal is in one’s interest. Cases take a while to proceed through the criminal justice system. Defendants can rest better knowing their rights are being protected. Click here for more details.