There are certain things you need to be aware of if you have been arrested and accused of theft and have to appear in court.
Whenever somebody is accused of a crime, whether its fraud or theft, they have to go through a legal process involving court. The process involves various outcomes which can result in a court trial to determine whether you are guilty or innocent. Before a trial occurs, if it occurs, certain steps must be gone through.
Following is a general process courts follow, although some courts may have different names for the steps. Unless your criminal attorney advises you otherwise, you should be present for all these steps.
1. Arraignment. An arraignment is when you formally appear before a judge and told the charges filed against you. During the arraignment you’re asked to enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no centest. You can change your plea later.
During the arraignment, the judge outlines any conditions you have to follow to avoid being taken into custody. In order to avoid being taken to jail, you may be required to post a bail or bond until your case is resolved. You have the option to object to any of the conditions the judge sets forth. Its best to have the assistance of a criminal attorney to guide you during this process.
This is where you’ll also get notices of future hearings, including dates for a pre-trial hearing and actual trial.
2. Pre-trial. Pre-trial hearings let the court monitor the case’s progress. During a pre-trial you and the court can resolve any issues that come up while your case is pending. Frequently at this step a case can be “continued” to permit both parties sufficient time to prepare their cases.
3. Motions. Depending on your case type and what determinations the court has already made, various legal motions are able to be brought before the court at this time.
4. Readiness. The “readiness hearing” is when both parties let the court know their “readiness” for trial. This step is scheduled anywhere from several days to several weeks before the beginning of trial. During this step your case can be either continued or resolved.
5. Trial. Although most cases are resolved beforehand, if your case goes to trial you can decide whether you want a trail by jury, where a jury decides your case, or a bench trial, where a judge will decide your case.
If you have been arrested and are facing a possible trial, you need a criminal defense attorney like Sevens Legal, APC, to help you understand the legal process that’s crucial for you to win your case. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.