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Criminal Cases: How Do They Begin?
The beginning of a criminal case is just as important as anything that happens afterwards. Many people focus on other vital aspects of the criminal trial process, and neglect the importance of the initial steps.
While it is paramount to know the main stages of the court process, to be familiar with the four main categories of criminal defenses, as well as learn what happens during criminal motions hearing, that doesn’t mean you should not pay attention to how your case begins.
It’s always best to find an experienced criminal attorney in San Diego you find affordable to help you through it all, but you should also familiarize yourself with what happens at the beginning of a criminal case.
How does a criminal case begin?
The beginning of a criminal case consists of several stages. The usual first step in any criminal case is usually the police arrest report. After that, it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether to file criminal charges.
The penultimate step before a criminal indictment involves the judge holding a preliminary hearing to decide if the prosecution possesses enough evidence for the case to go to trial. Finally, a case can go in front of a grand jury. Now, let’s take a closer look into the most important steps of a criminal trial.
When the police arrest an individual they suspect of a crime, they assemble a police report and send it to the prosecutor. It is up to the prosecutor to initiate the case. The police report provides a summary of all the events that led to the arrest, and contains important details, such as witness names, locations, times, and dates.
Upon the arrest, the police offer further specificities of the crime that constitute the basis for arrest. Additionally, the police can recommend the charges for the prosecution to file. However, the final decision rests solely on the prosecution.
The prosecutor can decide to do one of the three things with the case:
- Decide that the case needs to be charged and file the official charging document.
- Determine that the case has to go to a grand jury to decide whether or not to file charges.
- Decide not to pursue the case further.
If the prosecutor determines that the case requires only a felony complaint, and not to be presented in front of a grand jury, the defendant reserves the right to have a preliminary hearing. The purpose behind the preliminary hearing is for the prosecution to present enough evidence to justify a trial.
If there the case is a felony, prosecutors can leave it to the grand jury to decide if the charges need to be filed. A grand jury is similar to a regular jury, and they are composed of random individuals. The grand jury hears the evidence and reaches the decision on whether or not to indict the suspected individual.
Even the beginning of a criminal trial consists of several important steps that are vital to the remainder of the case. That is why you should always consult a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer and maximize your chances of winning your case.
Who is the leading experienced & affordable criminal attorney in San Diego?
The beginning of a criminal case consists of a number of important procedures that can affect the continuation of your case. That is why you should always have a reputable criminal attorney at your side from the very beginning.
VIk Monder of Monder Criminal Lawyer Group has gained his reputation helping people successfully resolve the legal troubles they found themselves in. He and his team of knowledgeable and dedicated legal professionals will help you secure a favorable outcome in your case. We’re located near Petco Park, so you should have no trouble finding our offices for a consultation. Contact us today!