I Was Arrested A Few Weeks Ago But I Haven’t Been Charged Yet. What Is Happening?
Each prosecuting body does things in a different way. In most cases, you’ll get charged immediately by the police, and prosecutors will review the charges and file what they think is appropriate. If the police have not submitted their documents to the prosecutor prior to the first court date, then there will not be a charging document prepared for that court date. If this is the case, then you can make a speedy trial demand; this, however, is not always in your best interest if you don’t want to piss off the prosecutor. If you are not in custody, then there will be 180 days to present a case for the prosecution before a speedy trial kicks in; if you are in custody, then there will be 120 days.
On the first court date, they might present the state with a file called information, which is just a more formal word for the charging document. If it’s a felony case, they will usually proceed by indictment, which takes much longer. You can’t expect much to happen on the first court date. If it’s a jailable offense, then the judge will want to see whether or not you have hired an attorney; they will not be thrilled about you representing yourself in a jailable offense, although it is your right. Once you find out what charges are being pressed against you, you will need to ask for discovery (e.g. police reports, videotapes, witness statements). If evidence is going to be used against you, then you will need to request an attorney who will begin working on your case with a thorough review of the discovery.
What Are The Different Pleas That Can Be Made? When Is A Plea Entered In A Criminal Case?
A plea will not be entered until you have had the chance to consider all possible defenses. If you were caught on tape committing the crime or if you have already confessed, then you shouldn’t take the case to trial and waste everyone’s time. In fact, doing so would only frustrate the judge and the prosecutor, both of whom will determine your sentence. Pleas are usually done at every status hearing, but very rarely on a first court date unless it is something very minor, like a traffic ticket.
If the prosecutors are offering what seems like a good deal, then you should take it. If it’s something that seems outrageous and the state is asking for jail time but you don’t feel that that is warranted, then you should refuse the offer and take the case to trial. There is no set time when pleas take place. For a variety of reasons, it could take a long time to get a result. For example, DNA analyses can take up to six months to complete because many crime laboratories are very backed up. In a simple drug case, you could be waiting for an analysis from the crime lab to verify the presence of a suspected substance. Cases can also be delayed as the result of police officers being slow to complete and submit paperwork.
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