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Phases of Criminal Litigation Facing criminal charges and want do defend yourself from a criminal allegation? Then you need to know the phases of criminal proceedings. Criminal litigation can be complex in nature depending on your case; it is a serious one, so expect a huge turn of events. But don’t stress yourself too much because you have civil rights in order to defend yourself. In fact, a specific clause from the due process states, “may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The legal procedure used by any criminal justice system varies because every ​criminal case has a unique aspect. Less to say, here are the basic stages or phases when undergoing criminal litigation: Phase 1: Arrest The initial phase of the criminal proceeding is to arrest the suspect which is done by a police officer. Yet, before the police can arrest, they should: (1) observe the person committing a


crime; (2) have probable cause to present, and believe that a crime has been committed by that person; or (3) make the arrest under the authority of a valid arrest warrant issued by a judge or grand jury. Right after the arrest, the police should complete the booking process, and then place the suspect in custody. If the suspect committed a minor offense, the policy may issue a citation instructing the suspect to appear in court at a mandated date. Phase 2: Bail If the law enforcement officials already compiled a written report detailing the alleged offense, the prosecution then determines if the crime really happens and if the suspect as the one who committed it. With this, the type of charge is identified as well. Thereafter, a bail or charge is granted, if appropriate, in exchange for a release. Release on bail depends on the suspect’s promise to appear at all scheduled court proceedings. A suspect could be released on his own recognizance; of which he/she need not post bail, but still provide a written oath to appear at all scheduled court appearances. Bail may be granted immediately after booking or at a later bail review hearing. Phase 3: Arraignment During an arraignment, the judge reads the charges filed against the defendant. Thereafter, the defendant can either plead “guilty,” “not guilty” or “no contest” to the charges stated. This is also the phase where the court determines the conditions of the defendant’s release. The arraignment process is the defendant’s first appearance. Phase 4: Pretrial Proceedings Pretrial proceedings, is the phase where the prosecution and the defendant file motions, discovery requests and witness summonses through counsel. Pretrial is done before the actual criminal trial because many criminal cases never actually proceed to formal trial due to a plea agreement agreed by the defense and prosecution. Phase 5: Trial If the case proceeds to the actual trial, the judge or the jury will either find the defendant guilty or not guilty. This, after listening to opening and closing statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses and jury instructions. If the final decision is not unanimous, the judge may call for a mistrial, and the case will either be dismissed or a new jury will be appointed. However, if a judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, he/she will be sentenced. Phase 6: Sentencing This phase is where the court determines the suitable punishment for the convicted defendant. To be able to assess the suitable sentence, the court considers a some specific factors, such as


the nature and severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, the defendant’s personal circumstances and the degree of remorse felt by the defendant. Phase 7: Appeal A defendant convicted of a crime may ask the high court to review his or her case. If the court finds an error in the case or in the sentence imposed, the court may reverse the conviction or look into the case again. When you are charged of a crime, especially if it is severe, immediately consult a ​criminal lawyer in fairfax va. Hire the most reputable and trusted criminal lawyers in Fairfax, VA. Visit Wise & Donahue Law Firm at 10476 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, Virginia 22033 or you may contact 703-934-6377.

Wise & Donahue Law Firm -​ Criminal Attorney Fairfax VA 10476 Armstrong Street Fairfax, Virginia 22030 703-934-6377 www.wisedonahue.com

Phases of Criminal Litigation  

Facing criminal charges and want do defend yourself from a criminal allegation? Then you need to know the phases of criminal proceedings.

Phases of Criminal Litigation  

Facing criminal charges and want do defend yourself from a criminal allegation? Then you need to know the phases of criminal proceedings.

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