Criminal Law Process: What to Expect
The criminal justice system can be complex. Most cases take several weeks to months to conclude. After your arrest, there may be a bond hearing, arraignment, pre-trial conference, suppression hearing, trial and sentencing. Even after a verdict, your case could be appealed or you may face post-conviction issues involving probation or parole. These events can disrupt not only your life, but also the lives of those you love.
If it’s your first time dealing with a misdemeanor, you’ve probably got several questions about the process. What can you expect? When you’ve been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor, the first step you’ll encounter is a bond hearing. A bond hearing typically takes place within 24-hours of arrest and is a contract guaranteeing your appearance in court. It’s important to note that for more serious offenses, or if the bond may be denied. It is here the Court can impose pre-trial supervision and require certain conditions while out on bond.
As your case progresses through the court system you will have an arraignment, pre-trial conference, with a possible suppression hearing, disposition hearing, and sentencing or a jury trial. The arraignment is usually the first part of the misdemeanor process. At the arraignment, you’ll be read the charges you’ve been charged with. At this point, you’ll either plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” Based on this response, an additional hearing or sentencing may be imposed.
While the events throughout the misdemeanor process may seem frightening, we can get through them. If you’re unsure about the process, please reach out to me and set up a consult.
The felony process is more complex and has more serious implications. After an arrest, you will have a bond hearing and be advised of your rights. In some serious instances, whether you’re deemed a flight-risk or accused of a heinous crime, bond may be denied.
If bond is posed, it’s here the Court can impose pre-trial supervision and require certain conditions while you’re out on bond. Your case will also be assigned to a District Courtroom. With certain felony charges we can request a preliminary hearing. During the preliminary hearing, a judge will determine whether a crime, was in fact, committed. Furthermore, that the crime was committed by you, the defendant.
Through status conferences and negotiations with the District Attorney’s Office efforts will be made to reach a disposition in your case. If a resolution is not reached then a suppression hearing and jury trial are scheduled. Throughout the process, you will want an advocate by your side, protecting your rights and minimizing the consequences of a felony investigation. It’s important to not that it’s incredibly dangerous for the accused to speak with the prosecuting attorney directly. Divulging information to the prosecution can be used against you in court, so be sure to have an experienced Colorado felony defense attorney in your corner.
You represented me well and I was pleased with the outcome.
This is a belated Thank You for helping me seal my court records. It will enable me to do some things I would otherwise not have been able to do. I appreciate your work.
Thank you David - you were excellent!!