Criminal Court Process

February 10, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Criminal Court

By Jon Dykstra -

If you’ve been charged with a crime in British Columbia, chances are during the arrest and aftermath nobody told you what to expect. Probably all you learned was the date you’re to show up to court. And that’s if you were released from the police.

Upon arrest, there’s 2 immediate outcomes:

i. You’re released with a court date; or

ii. You’re detained for a bail hearing. Your bail hearing will result in either being released on bail or kept in jail until the outcome of your trial.

Regardless whether you’re released or not, the criminal process is similar.

What’s Next?

1. 1st Appearance

The next step is either you or your lawyer goes to court on the date you were given upon release (or if in jail, the date set by the court). The 1st appearance serves 2 purposes:

i. You receive the particulars of your case from the prosecutor; and

ii. a date is set for your arraignment hearing.

Note that sometimes the prosecutor won’t have the particulars ready for your first appearance. In that case, you or your lawyer will need to attend again before your arraignment hearing.

2. The Particulars

The particulars is the paperwork setting out the prosecutor’s case against you. You or your lawyer can’t build your defence until you review the particulars. The particulars include the charges against you, the police notes, the report to crown counsel (the prosecutor), any technical data (such as breathalyzer results) and any other evidence the prosecutor will rely on.

3. The Arraignment Hearing

The arraignment hearing is held in the court where your case proceeds. This hearing is where you, the accused, enter a plea (not guilty if defending). Then your trial and perhaps preliminary hearing (see below) are scheduled.

4. Preliminary Inquiry

If the prosecutor is listing your charge(s) as indictable (more serious offences), then you are entitled to a preliminary inquiry. If your case is going by summary charge, then you aren’t entitled to a preliminary hearing.

A preliminary inquiry is an opportunity for you or your lawyer to ask questions of the prosecutor’s witnesses – usually the investigating police officers. This is an opportunity to learn more about the case against you. This hearing is held in a court and the testimony of all the witnesses is under oath.

5. Pre-Trial Conference

Before your trial, you or your lawyer must attend a pre-trial conference (PTC). This is usually held 1 to 1.5 months before your trial and is also held in the court. At the PTC, any outstanding issues are resolved. Otherwise, you (or your lawyer) and the prosecutor confirm with the court that both sides are ready for trial.

6. The Trial

Finally, you the accused, get your day in court. Sometimes a judge will decide the matter that day. Other times, the judge will hold off making a decision. If the judge holds off making a decision, you’ll get a date to return to court at which time the judge will issue her or his decision.

If a jury heard your case, then the jury will be instructed to decide your matter right away. You’ll learn the outcome upon the jury making its decision.

If you’re found not guilty, you’re free to go. If you’re found guilty, then you’ll be scheduled a sentencing date (sometimes sentencing may occur right away after the decision). If the sentencing hearing is scheduled in the future, either you’re held in jail until then or released until then. This primarily depends on the seriousness of the conviction and whether jail will be likely sentence. For example, if you’re found guilty of a first DUI, then you won’t be held in jail. If you’re found guilty of 1st degree murder, you’ll most likely be held in jail.

7. The Sentencing Hearing

You hope your matter doesn’t come to a sentencing hearing. However, sometimes it does. The process at a sentencing hearing is that both sides will make submissions for a particular type of sentence (i.e. jail length, probation terms, licence restrictions, etc. – depending on the nature of the conviction). The judge then decides and orders your sentence.

In a nutshell, that’s the criminal process in British Columbia.

To learn more about hiring a criminal defence lawyer in British Columbia, check out Dykstra & Company who are BC criminal defence lawyers. Dykstra & Company represents people charged with DUI and traffic offences, assault charges, and drug charges with law offices in Abbotsford and Surrey, BC.

Jon Dykstra

Article Source:  Criminal Court Process

When Traffic Tickets Become Traffic Crimes

October 23, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under DUI, Getting Arrested

By Rob Skubiak -

When you get pulled over for a traffic violation, you may be concerned about getting a fine, or even having points charged to your license. However, depending on what you’re being accused of, a fine might be the least of your worries. The penalties for traffic violations vary from one state to the next, but one thing remains the same: traffic violations such as DUI, reckless driving, hit and run, and leaving the scene of an accident are all considered traffic crimes. Being charged with any of these violations always leads to the potential for criminal charges and jail time, depending on your location and the severity of the crime.

DUI- In most states, you will be arrested and taken to the jail for holding. Depending on how drunk you are and how you behave, you may be able to be released that same day, although your driving privileges may be suspended until your court hearing. When you go to court, the judge will ultimately decide the fate of your case. If you are in a severe case, you may be kept in jail until your trial date, which can be anywhere from two days to two weeks after your initial arrest. To get the best results, you should hire a DUI lawyer to defend your case.

Hit and Run- Being charged with a hit-and-run accident is very serious. Leaving the scene of an accident isn’t a traffic violation, it’s a crime. You will be arrested and entitled to a court hearing, with the possiblility of jail time for your violation. Again, the exact laws in each state will vary, so you’ll need to check with your specific state for exact details.

Reckless Driving- This is another traffic violation that is a crime in most states. Although your first charge will probably elicit a simple ticket, you’re still at a higher risk for being charged with a crime in most states. Also, you need to remember that the severity of your reckless driving charges will define just how severe your punishment is. You might just get a ticket and a fine, but you might wind up in jail or have to face a court hearing. If the latter is your situation, don’t panic. You can hire a qualified traffic lawyer to defend your case.

If you’ve been charged with a traffic violation that has spiraled into a traffic crime, you don’t have to face it alone. There are thousands of qualified traffic lawyers that are out there, waiting to help you with all of your legal needs. You can utilize resources such as Lawyers.com and Legal Match, to help you find the perfect traffic lawyer for your needs. All you need to do is to research your crimes and the consequences of them, and hire a qualified traffic lawyer to defend you. Then you’ll at least have a fighting chance at getting your charges dropped or lowered.

Rob Skubiak is a successful [http://www.trafficlawfirm.com/florida-dui-attorney.html]Florida Traffic Ticket Attorneys specializing in Florida DUI ‘s and Orlando traffic ticket attorney offenses. He started Skubiak and Rivas, P.A. in 1992 and has brought on Alain Rivas as his partner. Rob has appeared in courtrooms all over Florida defending his Florida traffic ticket clients. Official Website of Skubiak and Rivas, P.A. Orlando Traffic Ticket attorneys.

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You’re Under Arrest! – Now What?

By Andrew Sarski

Although you may be confused, scared or angry at first, if you have been placed under arrest or have been asked to go to the police station for questioning in a crime, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Criminal defense lawyers know what your rights are and how you should handle your arrest.

A qualified defense attorney will advise you on your rights so you don’t get caught off guard by police interrogation tactics. This legal advice alone could protect your freedom. After arrest and bail, you will be arraigned and assigned a court date. The US Court System is a very complicated justice system and you will need an attorney that is well versed in your state laws to argue your case. The following topics may help you understand the criminal justice process if you have been charged with a crime.

Severity of Criminal Charges

You could be charged with an infraction. An example of an infraction could be a noise violation. The punishment of an infraction can not be jail time, only fines, the loss of your license or other personal liberty restrictions, excluding jail. You can not go to jail for an infraction. There are times in negotiations between your criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor of your case will reduce a greater charge (felony or misdemeanor) to an infraction with an admittance of guilt. If you are charged with a Misdemeanor, the punishment is more severe. A misdemeanor can carry a jail sentence (up to a year in jail) and large fines. If it is your first offense and you are convicted, the best case scenario is you are offered probation and a hefty fine. Being charged with a felony is the most serious criminal charge that can be brought against you. If you are convicted of a felony you may be sentenced to jail time in State Prison.

How to Handle the Police looking for you

If the police are looking for you or have called you directly in relation to a crime, it is in your best interest to talk to a lawyer before you speak with the police. Although you have not been placed under arrest, anything you say to the police detectives over the telephone or casually in person can be used against you. Whatever you do, do not lie or tell mis truths to the police thinking that it can not be used against you. Everything can be used against you in the court of law if you have not been placed under arrest.

Miranda Rights

If you are in Police custody, it is most likely that the Police will read you your Miranda rights. If you are read the Miranda rights, everything you say can and most likely will be used against you in a court of law. At this point, it is most likely in your best interest to give the police officers your name and address and request to speak with a lawyer. After this, do not say anything until you speak with a lawyer.

This article should shed some light on what to expect if you are detained by the police or placed under arrest. Getting arrested is a horrible experience than can only get worse if you do not have an advocate fighting for you. If you have been arrested, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. It is in your best interest as your very personal freedom is in jeopardy.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an Oklahoma City Defense Attorney at the Law Firm of Atkins & Markoff. If you have been charged with a [http://www.oklahomasexcrimeslawcenter.com/]Sex Offense, [http://www.oklahomaduicenter.com/]Oklahoma City DUI or an [http://www.oklahomacriminallawcenter.com/oklahoma_drugoffenses.html]Oklahoma City Drug Charge, you need a qualified Defense Lawyer: Contact Atkins & Markoff today!

This article, which is not meant to be legal advice, may be republished providing all of the resource links remain intact.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Sarski [http://ezinearticles.com/?Youre-Under-Arrest!---Now-What?&id=1186995 ]http://EzineArticles.com/?Youre-Under-Arrest!—Now-What?&id=1186995

What Should I Do After Getting Arrested For a DWI?

October 10, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under DUI, Getting Arrested

By Douglas V. Hazelton

Our Minnesota DWI Attorneys answer your questions

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may be unsure of what to do next. Most people don’t have previous experience to fall back on, and they may not want to discuss this event with family or friends. Be assured that you can turn to the expert advice of our Minnesota DWI attorneys in order to get some information and reassurance in this regard.

Do I need an attorney?

Usually, the first question following a driving while intoxicated arrest is – do I really need an attorney?

Yes you do! There are many ramifications to a DWI!

Our Minnesota DWI attorneys have the expertise to protect your interests. Minnesota DWI attorneys are experienced in helping clients throughout the process – including examining the case to see if it’s possible to dismiss or significantly reduce the charges.

When you research Minnesota DWI attorneys, look for firms that have expertise representing clients arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is important to find law firms with experience in criminal defense, but it’s also important to find a firm that has unique expertise with the entire DWI process. These attorneys are often members of National Drunk Driving Defense Force or National College of DUI.

How can an attorney help?

You may think that the charge of driving while intoxicated affords you few legal options. That’s where representation by Minnesota DWI attorneys can make all the difference. After the arrest,¬† these defense attorneys will demand the opportunity to access and review the arrest reports, audio and visual tapes, intoxilyzer logs and lab reports, examine the results of the breath analysis, and check the hospital or forensic testing process. Each step offers an opportunity to dismiss or reduce the charges.

Minnesota DWI attorneys also offer their expert advice when it comes to taking the case to trial or attempting to obtain a favorable plea bargain. In some instances, negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney may be the best choice following a driving while intoxicated arrest. Plea bargains may result in a reduction of the charge, a minimized sentence, and a savings in expert witness and other fees commonly associated with a trial.

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated can be a scary wake up call for anyone. You may feel completely vulnerable and helpless, as though all is now lost. When you seek the advice of qualified and experienced Minnesota DWI attorneys, you’ll find that you not only have options, but the situation may be better than you had imagined. Although one certainly cannot minimize the seriousness of this arrest, it is certainly possible to protect your best interests and make sure that the experience does not serve to have long-term detrimental repercussions on your future.

Doug V. Hazelton is an experienced DUI Defense Attorney, who for has successfully handled hundreds of criminals cases. He is a member of Hennepin County and Minnesota Bar associations.

Attorney Hazelton is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense conducted at Harvard Law School and was named a Member of the College in 1997. He was named Minnesota’s National Delegate to the College in 2006. In addition to lecturing on DUI/DWI-related topics locally and nationally, his articles have been published in numerous publications including Criminal Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender), Criminal Constitutional Law (Matthew Bender), the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report (Clark Boardman). He is a contributing editor for the Minnesota DWI Deskbook and he is slated to publish the 2008 Thomson West DWI Law Practice Book.

Douglas V. Hazelton  [mailto:dvhazelton@aol.com]dvhazelton@aol.com 612-334-3342 http://www.dwi-minnesota.com

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Arrested For Public Intoxication – What Next?

September 24, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Getting Arrested, bail bonds

By Joseph Devine

When you are arrested for something such as public intoxication, there are a number of things that you need to do in the process. One of the first things that you should do is understand what all the terms that you will hear actually mean.

Public intoxication is defined when a person has ingested a product whether its drugs or alcohol that is affecting their judgment. This also means that you aren’t able to make rational decisions by yourself which is why the police will arrest you. When they arrest you, they will keep you in jail for at least 6 hours to ensure that the substance that you used is now completely out of your system. The police want to make sure that you are completely sober so that you won’t get hurt when you leave jail. The reason that they arrest you in the first place is because they don’t want you to cause harm to either yourself or others while you are intoxicated.

When they originally arrest you, you will be required to go through what is called a booking process. This is the time when they will take your mug shots and fingerprinting. From this point forward, you will be in the system because you were arrested. After a 6 hour period, they will have bail hearing to determine what your status will be. Depending on what type of past criminal history you have had will determine what your bail amount will be.

Once you have seen a judge and set your bail, you will then have to call someone to help you pull the money together. If you don’t have enough money, you have the option to visit a bail bondsman in order to have them loan you the money. Remember that none of this process can happen until after the 6 hour wait. This is the very minimum that they will make you wait in a jail cell to sober up. There is always a chance that they will force you to wait longer because they feel that you are still not capable of making decisions for yourself.

After you have gotten out of jail, you will be assigned a court date that will be mandatory attendance. You will be required to stay in the city until your court date when they will hear your case. If this was your first PI then you will probably be required to do community service with no jail time requirement.

If you are in need of a jail release or PI criminal defense lawyer, contact Attorneys and Lawyers for You at http://www.attorneysandlawyers4you.com to find a lawyer near you.

Joseph Devine

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