How Criminal Charges are Filed
Being accused of a crime can be potentially devastating. The legal process can be complicated and difficult, especially if you don’t know how the law works. This is why you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you receive information that you may be accused of a crime.
Arrest and Filing Charges
After you are arrested, a police report will be promptly prepared. This provides details about the events that led to your arrest, including witness statements, physical evidence and the location of the alleged crime. This report goes to a prosecutor, whose job is to decide whether to file criminal charges.
You will be told of the formal charges brought against them at their first appearance in court. If a prosecutor files felony charges, you will be entitled to a preliminary hearing. This hearing is conducted so the prosecutor can attempt to convince the judge that there is enough evidence to warrant bringing the case to trial.
Why You Need to Hire a Lawyer Before Formal Charges are Filed
In many cases, there will be several days or weeks between the time you are arrested and the date of your first court hearing. In that period of time, your criminal defense attorney can attempt to speak to the filing district attorney and present your side of the story in the hope that the prosecutor will decide not to file criminal charges or file less serious charges than what you were initially arrested for.
If you do not hire a lawyer to help you at this critical stage, the prosecutor will only have the police report to go by. In a very high percentage of cases, the police officer will recommend that criminal charges be filed because he was the one who arrested you in the first place. He will want his arrest to stick because that avoids the possibility of him being successfully sued for wrongfully arresting you.
An attorney will also be able to advise you on what to say and what not to say to police and prosecutors to prevent you from incriminating yourself. Your attorney will keep you informed of any new developments in your case so you won’t be taken by surprise. Before charges are formally filed against you, your attorney will be able to work on building a solid defense against the allegations.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal lawyers have over 40 years of experience defending our clients and guiding them through the difficult legal process. We may be able to reduce the charges you are facing or have them dismissed completely.
With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Ventura, Victorville, and West Covina you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.