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Criminal Court Process: What can I expect in Court?
The initial arrest begins the criminal court process. Within 48 hours of arrest, a Defendant is entitled to a Bond Hearing to determine probable cause to hold a person with conditions and bond. If the case is not charged at the time of Bond Hearing, the Prosecutor must file charges or release the Defendant within 72 hours of arrest.
Arraignment is the official presentment of charges. At Arraignment, a criminal defendant has the option to enter a plea of guilt or innocence. If a guilty plea is entered, the case will proceed to Sentencing and potentially Probation. A not guilty plea will move the case to Pretrial Hearing.
Pretrial hearing is a hearing to set the 1) case for trial, 2) enter a continuance, or 3) change plea to guilty. If the case is set for trial, a Motions Hearing may be scheduled to take testimony in an attempt to exclude evidence at trial.
At Readiness (misdemeanor) or Omnibus (felony) Hearing the case will be set for a trial date, if the case investigation is complete. If investigation is not complete, a continuance may occur allowing further time.
Trial is either conducted by a Judge only or a Jury. The Prosecutor must present evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal Defendant committed an offense. If a not guilty verdict is found, the defendant is free. If a guilty verdict is found, the defendant will then attend a Sentencing Hearing.
*** Negotiations for reduction or dismissal occur during the entire court process***
Criminal cases are complicated, and there are a ton of pitfalls along the way. You will need an attorney that is experienced in this area no only with regard to legal issues but also with future conduct necessary to secure the best possible outcome for your case. If you are charged with a crime, call our office to see how we can help you with your case. Consultations are always free, and confidential.
3326 160th Avenue SE Ste. 215 Bellevue, Washington 98008
Representation for criminal charges is based on a flat rate fee. We understand that criminal charges aren’t usually planned. Our office can work with you by accepting payment plans. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American express, Money Orders and Cash.