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What Happens When You are Charged with a Crime

If someone you love has been charged with a crime or you are worried that this may happen to you, you will want to know what to expect. How does someone go from being arrested to then getting charged? Read on to discover everything you need to know.

The first thing that happens is the arrest, and then the police will file a report. The police report is passed onto the prosecutor, who will read it and determine whether or not criminal charges should be made against the individual. A preliminary hearing is held by the judge to figure out if there is sufficient evidence to continue. Criminal charges tend to be filed by the prosecutor within three days, yet some jurisdictions do this within two days. 

Prosecutors and the decision they make

Once the arrest is made, the prosecutor will receive the police report and decide what to do next. There are three possible options here. The first thing that they can do is set forth the charges by filing a complaint with the trial court. Another option is to simply decide not to pursue the issue any further. Alternatively, they may decide to present the evidence to a grand jury and ask them whether any criminal charges should be brought, and if so, which charges would be suitable. 

The role that the grand jury play

Grand juries have a role that is very much like standard juries. However, their job is simply to determine if charges should be brought in the first place, as opposed to deciding whether they believe the individual to be innocent or guilty during the trial. The evidence will be presented to the grand jury via the prosecutor, and then the grand jury will determine whether charges should be brought. When compared with a regular jury, grand juries tend to have more members. In fact, some can have as many as 23 members. On the other hand, a standard jury will typically have 12 members, with some having as few as six. Furthermore, the meeting between the grand jury is in private and secret, not public, as is the case with standard juries. 

You will need to hire an expert criminal lawyer to help you navigate these proceedings

If you are arrested or charged with any sort of criminal charges, you will need to put together an effective criminal defense. Read this about us page for a good option. To do this, you are going to need to hire a legal team with plenty of experience in the industry. You want to be sure that they have handled many different cases like yours before so that you have the best chance of a positive outcome. 

To conclude, the process that is entailed when it comes to criminal cases and charges has been outlined in brief above. However, the specifics and complexities will depend all on your case and the specific nature of it, i.e. what you have been charged with and whether you are innocent or guilty, and how you wish to plead. Expert help is a must.

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