The process of criminal defense may be harrowing, especially if one’s freedom is at risk. However, knowing what’s coming can help one prepare. If a client cannot afford Criminal Defense Lawyers in West Bend WI, they are guaranteed a public defender for some offenses. If they Visit here, readers can learn about the stages of the criminal process, from arrest to sentencing.
The arrest is typically the first step in the criminal trial process. If the police have a good reason to make an arrest, they usually do not require a warrant. However, except in emergencies, police must have the warrant to arrest someone at home. The warrant is signed by a judge, and it allows officers to make an arrest. It details the offense and specifies required bail. Arrests and bookings can take a few hours, and once complete, the accused must be read their Miranda rights.
When a person is arrested, they can only be held for 72 hours before they must be formally charged. The police furnish county attorneys with arrest reports and the prosecutor decides which charges to apply. From there, the prosecutor files a formal complaint.
Arraignment and Hearing
The next step is the initial appearance and arraignment, which usually happens within two days of an arrest. During the brief appearance, the judge explains the charges, the accused person’s constitutional rights, their bail, and the next steps in the process. During the arraignment, the client can enter a not guilty, guilty or no contest plea.
During the pretrial phase, defense and state attorneys exchange information, and they may arrange for a plea bargain. Pretrial motions may be filed to suppress evidence, or for a multitude of other reasons.
If the prosecutor and the defense attorney cannot reach an agreement out of court, the case goes to trial at a significant cost. Attorney fees vary depending on the lawyer’s skill set and the location, and trials can last from a few days to a few weeks.
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, especially if one lacks legal guidance. Criminal Defense Lawyers in West Bend WI can ensure that clients achieve the best outcome possible, based on the evidence presented by the state prosecutor. Contact Hetzel & Nelson LLC for more information.