There are many steps that lead up to a criminal trial. Here we go over some of the things that happen in that process. Should you find yourself in this position, you will need an Oklahoma criminal trial lawyer.
law enforcement begin an investigation after a crime takes place. This includes not only gathering evidence, but conducting interviews as well. They will talk to witnesses and identify any potential suspects. Officers will take pictures and gather as much information as possible before submitting their report.
This can happen in one of two ways. After the collection of evidence, the district attorney can issue a warrant for arrest. If the person who commit the crime is still present at the scene, an arrest takes place on the spot. After this happens, prosecutors decide what charges to press. After further review, they decide whether or not there is enough evidence to prove that the defendant commit the crime.
This is the first appearance before the judge. The defendant receives a formal reading of the charges and a bond amount is set. The judge may release the defendant on a personal recognizance bond. But only if they find enough reason to believe the defendant will return to court. If not, a bail bondsman may write a bond for the defendant. The next court appearance is usually set out about month.
This is where the witnesses give statements, and the court decides whether or not their is enough evidence to move forward. The state has to have enough evidence for the defendant to be bound over for trial. Which is what happens most of the time. The state will not present all the evidence at this hearing, and the defendant may waive their right to this hearing.
If you lose your preliminary hearing, you will be officially charged and set for district court. You may still plea at this time, though you are not required to. Your Oklahoma criminal trial lawyer will have additional time to investigate, and negotiate a plea deal. You do not have to go to trial, but prosecutors also do not have to turn over all their evidence until a trial is set. If their are any issues with evidence or testimonies, they address them at this hearing before going to trial.
You many have a trial in front of a jury, or only a judge. That is typically referred to as a bench trial. Defense attorneys and prosecutors go back and forth interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence. If their is enough evidence to convict, the judge or jury will deliberate on the verdict and possible outcome. If found guilty, sentencing may take place then or at a later date. If found not guilty the case is over. However if found guilty and you disagree with the decision, you may file an appeal at a later date.
Our office has decades of experience in criminal trial matters. If you need a criminal trial lawyer, contact our office for a consultation.