Criminal Case Process – The Basics

Tim Powers

Law Office of Tim Powers

940.483.8000

www.timpowers.com

 

Understanding the criminal process from arraignment to appeal

 

This article was written with the defendant’s thoughts, questions and next steps in mind.

 

It is the first step in learning the basics about the criminal justice process. What should the defendant expect at each stage of their case? How do the laws differ from state to state? What if the defendant is not happy with his attorney? How does the appeals process work? What will happen to the defendant? The answers to these questions, and dozens of questions like these, ensure in a clear and concise format, that the defendant has a solid foundation going forward.

 

The law may seem tricky at first glance – that is why the defendant has certain rights, the paramount one being the right to retain an attorney. The defendant is guaranteed the right to legal representation, whether the attorney is appointed for the defendant or the defendant hires a private attorney. Another important right is the right to present his case.

 

The right to a fair and speedy trial and the right to be provided a specific statement of the charges are two other very important rights of a defendant.

 

Key Constitutional Rights

 

1. Right to counsel (attorney) 2. Right to cross examine and confront witnesses 3. Right to testify on one’s own behalf 4. Right to remain silent 5. Right to a speedy trial 6. Right to use courts subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify 7. Right to a jury trial (in most cases) 8. Right of presumed innocence

 

Process of a criminal case

 


MISDEMEANOR

FELONY

 

 

Arraignment

Lower Court

Bail

 

Identity of defendant

Arraignment

Ascertain charges

Bail

Confirm attorney of record

Identity of defendant

 

Ascertain charges

Pre-Trial Conference (one or more)

Confirm attorney of record

Plea negotiations

 

Identification of issues

Pre-Preliminary Hearing

Identification of witnesses

Plea negotiations

Identification of strengths / weaknesses

Identification of issues

 

Identification of witnesses

Trial (judge or jury)

Identification of strengths / weaknesses

Pre-trial motions issues of fact are decided

 

 

Preliminary Hearing

Sentencing

Probable cause that crime was committed and defendant was the one who committed it

Judge imposes sentencing after defendant has been convicted

 

 

Upper Court

Appeal

 

The defense may request a higher court to change the lower court’s decision.

Arraignment

 

Bail

Expungement

Identity of defendant

Expungement is a legal term for sealing the criminal record

Ascertain charges

 

Confirm attorney of record

 

 

 

Pre-Trial Conference

 

Plea negotiations

 

Identification of issues

 

Identification of witnesses

 

Identification of strength/weaknesses

 

 

 

Trial

 

Pre-trial motions

 

Issues of fact are decided

 

 

 

Sentencing

 

Judge imposes sentencing after defendant has been convicted

 

 

 

Appeal

 

The defense may request a higher court to change the lower court’s decision.

 

 

 

Expungement

 

Expungement is a legal term for sealing the criminal record

 

If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County criminal case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today.  There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation.      940.483.8000.

 

 *Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney.

This entry was posted in Evidence and Criminal Procedure, Frequently Asked Questions, General Information, Home and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>