It’s Easier When You Know What To Expect
Going through the criminal process can be extremely stressful, especially if you’ve never been through it before. The process can take time and involves a number of distinct steps that must be completed in order. The process will differ somewhat depending on the charges you are facing. At Marinaro Law Firm, we can help guide you through the process, letting you know what to expect and preparing you for each step.
Arrest And Charge
If you’re looking for a lawyer, chances are you’ve already been through this process. Whether you were stopped on the highway or the police came to your house, you know if you’ve been charged with a crime. The police must follow protocol when making an arrest, including reading you your rights. Once you’ve been officially charged with a crime, you’ll be taken to the police station for booking.
Jail And Bail
Once you’ve been booked, you will be expected to return to court for hearings related to your case. You may be released on your own, or you could be held in jail on bail. Bail is an amount of money that will get you out of jail and ensure that you return for your next court date. If the police try to question you while you’re in jail, you should request to have a lawyer present.
Consult With A Lawyer
When your case is headed to trial, you need a strong defender to protect your rights and represent you in court. Don’t try to do this alone. Sometimes you hear of people trying to defend themselves in court to save money or out of principle — this is rarely a good idea.
If You Plead Guilty
In this case, you will not go to trial, but will likely go through a process known as a plea bargain, where your lawyer will try to negotiate for a lighter sentence in exchange for your guilty plea.
If You Do Not Plead Guilty
You will go to trial. At your trial, the state, represented by a prosecutor, will make a case for conviction. The burden of proof at trial is on the prosecutor to prove that you did what they claimed you did. The prosecutor will go first, presenting all the evidence they have before your defense lawyer has a chance to refute the evidence. When the court has reached a decision, they will read the verdict.
This is the step where the court will decide what penalties you will face for your conviction.
If you are unhappy with the results of your trial, you can appeal your case to a higher court that will review the lower court’s decision and either uphold or overturn the verdict, or possibly change the sentencing.
Questions? Call Us.
Our attorneys can answer any questions you have about the criminal case process, taking into consideration your specific charges. To schedule an appointment at our Lancaster, Pennsylvania, office, call 717-406-1794 or toll free at 866-614-6520, or write to us to get in touch.