Facing A Criminal Charge? Here’s What To Know
If you have found yourself entangled in the criminal justice system, you probably feel overwhelmed and confused. Criminal law can prove incredibly complex, so it is worthwhile to have an attorney who can not only defend your rights but also explain the steps of the legal process to you.
At the Law Office of Stephen W. Grosh, we do just that. You can turn to us for guidance, defense and an honest assessment of what you should expect from your case. To get you started, let’s go over the basic steps of a criminal case in Pennsylvania.
What To Expect From The Process
Every case is unique. However, every case, no matter its details, will follow some of the same steps. These include:
- Arrest: Whether law enforcement officers have conducted a monthslong investigation of your conduct or they pulled you over spontaneously on suspicion of drunk driving, they can arrest you when they have probable cause. You should exercise your Fifth Amendment right to not speak with the police until you have a lawyer.
- Arraignment: The first time you make a formal appearance in court, you will receive the criminal charges against you. This process is called arraignment. You have the option to enter a plea and can change it later.
- Pretrial process: This phase is when your lawyer can weigh the state’s case against you and work to discover exculpatory evidence. You might have the chance to negotiate a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office.
- Trial: If you do not reach a favorable plea bargain or you and your lawyer feel confident that a judge or jury would find you not guilty, your case goes to trial. In this stage, the prosecutor and your defense attorney present their evidence to the court. A judge or jury will render a verdict. Finally, the judge will issue a sentence.
A verdict of guilty is not necessarily the end of the road. You still have the chance to appeal.
Discuss Your Case With A Defense Lawyer
This is a broad overview of the steps of a criminal case. At the Law Office of Stephen W. Grosh, an attorney can sit down with you to give you an honest assessment of your circumstances. To schedule your appointment, contact our Lancaster office at 717-208-4599 or send us an email.