Being accused and arrested of a criminal act in Ohio can be a stressful and scary experience. It can be difficult to know what to do or who to talk to, which is why understanding the criminal law process is so important. Knowing how the legal process works can help minimize uncertainty and increase your chances of overcoming criminal charges successfully. At Comunale Law in Dayton, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case.
The first step in the criminal legal process is the charge and arrest. A complaint is filed with the criminal court alleging that a crime took place that is filed by a law enforcement agency, citizen’s complaint, or from a grand jury. If the judge believes that there is cause, a warrant is issued for the accused. They may either be arrested by local law enforcement or given a summons to appear in court at a certain date and time.
The second step in the process is the arraignment. This is the initial appearance in court for criminal proceedings, and it is highly recommended that you have a criminal defense lawyer represent you at this hearing. During the arraignment, the accused hears the charges levied against them, informed of their rights, and given the opportunity to enter a plea.
Pre-trial motions help determine almost every element of the trial, and it is critical that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you at this stage of the legal process. Motions submitted during the pre-trial phase affect everything from the evidence allowed, what witnesses can testify, and more. This phase is also where plea bargaining may take place, and depending on the outcome of the pre-trial motions the charges may be mitigated or even dropped by the prosecution.
A criminal trial is the next step in the process, where the prosecutor has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime. It is not on the defendant to prove their innocence, and a jury must come to a unanimous decision for a guilty verdict. Each side has the chance to present opening arguments, provide evidence and witness testimony, and give closing arguments to the judge and jury. If the trial verdict comes back as not guilty, the accused goes free. If the verdict is guilty, there are still legal options available in the criminal defense process.
If you are found guilty during trial but believe that mistakes were made in the process that resulted in that outcome, you can appeal the case to the appellate court. At this level, the conviction could be overturned or remanded back to trial for further deliberations.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a crime in the Dayton area, the time to act is now. Call the office or contact us today at Comunale Law to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers to learn more about your legal options.