Being charged with a criminal offense is extremely stressful and frustrating. The natural reaction of an accused is to become overwhelmed and refuse to face the reality of a criminal charge. It is normal for most of the accused to consult with a criminal lawyer days before a hearing so that it becomes a mad scramble to get everything ready in time.
What happens during a criminal investigation?
A pre-arrest investigation is the stage of criminal prosecution that happens after criminal activity has been reported and when law enforcement becomes aware that criminal activity occurred in a certain place at a certain time. Law enforcement will conduct an investigation to determine whether a crime was committed and whether they should make an arrest. After law enforcement has uncovered evidence that a crime was committed and a suspect has been identified, an arrest can be made; however, this depends on the jurisdiction.
There are jurisdictions where a prosecutor is involved before the arrest. The prosecutor decides what charges will be filed and whether there is a legal basis for an arrest. After a determination has been made, the suspect will be arrested. When the arrest takes place, the accused is taken into custody by law enforcement. The requirements for making a proper arrest will depend on whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanour.
Generally, the accused will be brought to court where he will be informed of the charges, advised on the right to counsel and to remain silent. Being charged with a crime is serious and it is important for the accused to trust a criminal defence lawyer to protect his rights and freedom.
If it is a felony case, a preliminary hearing may commence within a reasonable amount of time after the filing of information. During the preliminary hearing, the accused together with his counsel must be present. At the hearing, the prosecutor and the criminal defence lawyer can present various pieces of evidence that will establish or challenge whether a felony was committed by the accused.
Generally, limited discovery is available to the defendant. During the presentation of evidence, the criminal defence lawyer can cross-examine both the state witness and the victim. If the court finds out that there is probable cause that a felony has been committed, the defendant will be bound over for trial. If the court finds out that there is no probable cause that a felony was committed by the defendant, the court will dismiss the case and the accused will be released.
The information provided above shows the importance of proper preparation. By hiring a professional criminal defence lawyer, the case will be properly prepared to obtain the best possible outcome. It is important to provide the lawyer with all the pertinent information and documentation that are asked to help develop the best defence for the case. Another important element in successfully managing a criminal matter is proper communication between the accused and the lawyer. Always discuss with the lawyer how the case is proceeding so as not to jeopardize any chances of success.