Fort Wayne Criminal Attorney
Even those that are accused of relatively minor crimes can find that having a criminal record seriously impacts their prospects for future employment. It can even mean the difference between getting a dream apartment that you want and being passed over. The attorneys at The Bellinger Law Office understand the stakes when it comes to being charged with crimes in Indiana. Our Fort Wayne criminal attorneys will ensure that you get the best defense possible and help secure the best verdict possible.
Steps in a Fort Wayne Criminal Trial
The first step in a criminal proceeding is your apprehension. You can face warrants and not even know it. Some folks are arrested while driving under the influence, while police investigations may lead to an arrest down the road for other criminal charges. After your apprehension, the steps in an Indiana criminal trial are:
- The initial hearing – Also known as an arraignment, the initial hearing is where the judge will explain the criminal charges to the defendant. The defendant will have an opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge will also set bail and assign a public defender to the case if you cannot afford an attorney. Your attorney will negotiate for affordable bail or ask that you be released on your own recognizance. The initial hearing will take place anywhere within 24 to 48 hours after your arrest. For those who are not being held in jail, an initial hearing will take place within 20 days of the arrest or 10 days in the case of DUIs.
- Discovery – Discovery occurs when the prosecution and the defense trade information concerning what they know as it pertains to the charges against the defendant. This includes the evidence that the prosecution will present at trial. There will be information on their witnesses, police reports, physical evidence, and scientific evidence. Your own attorney will submit a list of witnesses and evidence.
- Pretrial motions – This is an opportunity for either side to force the court to rule on a particular piece of evidence and whether or not it can be presented at trial. The defense can also submit a motion to reduce bail, change the venue, or more.
- Pretrial conference – Your attorney will meet with the prosecution. If the prosecution wants to offer a plea, they will usually do that now.
If your case goes to trial, the next step is jury selection. The judge will inform the jury concerning the charges, and then the state will give its opening statement. Afterward, your defense attorney will give his or her opening statement, and the prosecution will begin calling witnesses to the stand. Once the state’s case is presented, it will be your turn to present your case.
Talk to a Fort Wayne Criminal Attorney Today
The key to getting the best possible result in your criminal case is having a seasoned Fort Wayne criminal attorney make the case on your behalf. If you have been charged with a crime in Fort Wayne, call the Bellinger Law Office today.