Criminal defense cases often operate far differently in real life than how you have seen in movies and television shows. Therefore, confident ignorance could land you in jail for longer than you need to be. Plus, it results in a higher bail or fines, and more. Thus, there is a reason that lawyers have to go to school for several years and pass a difficult exam to earn the right to represent clients. Our Attorneys strive to go above and beyond baseline standards for typical criminal defense attorneys to give our clients a thorough, assertive defense.
There are several stages in a criminal prosecution in Arizona. These stages of prosecution, each of which our team can help you with once retained.
Stages of Criminal Prosecution in Arizona:
The police might say you are being detained, or placed into custody, but it all means that you have been placed under arrest. The police must have probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime in order to place you under arrest. You should also be read your Miranda Rights when you are taken into police custody.
Most people placed under arrest will have the opportunity to pay bail, which is a conditional release fee. Typically, bail fees are higher for someone who has committed a serious or violent crime, or is considered a flight risk. However, the court can sometimes set a bail that is infeasibly high for the average person to pay- and if you’re unable to pay bail, you are stuck waiting in jail until your case is resolved. Our defense attorneys can help argue for a more reasonable bail so that you can prepare for trial from the comfort of your own home.
An indictment is a hearing in which the court formally accuses of the crimes with which you are charged. Unfortunately, the grand jury will only hear the prosecution’s side of events, for the most part. If you are indicted, it means the jury believes the government has sufficient evidence against you for the charges at hand.
An arraignment should take place within a reasonable amount of time after you have been arrested. The charges will be described in detail, including the date(s) of the offense and which statutes have specifically been violated. You will have the choice to plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest).
Preliminary hearings are used for non-indictment felonies in Arizona. The prosecutor may present some or all of the evidence and witness testimony against you at this hearing. Your attorney can ask questions about this evidence, but you are not afforded the right to present your own evidence in this hearing. The police officer who placed you under arrest may be present at this hearing. A commissioner will meet with your defense lawyer and determine if the crime you are accused of occurred, and that you most likely are the person who committed the offense. If so, your case will proceed to the initial pre-trial conference (IPTC).