Things You Need to Know About the Criminal Court Process

If you or a loved one are accused of a crime, you may be unsure and nervous about the criminal process. Therefore, before conducting a search for a bail bondsman, i.e. “bail bonds Scranton PA,” consider learning a bit about the criminal process.

Arrest

The criminal process begins with an arrest warrant. If the crime is minor, the defendant may only receive a citation with a court date, but if the crime is not minor, defendants are read their rights and told what crime they are accused of prior to being taken to the police station for processing.

Bail

Bail may be granted when the suspect is taken into custody or during their initial hearings. Typically, the severity of the crime, whether they are a danger to themselves or others and defendants’ criminal records are reviewed before they are granted bail. In any bail case, these individuals must promise to appear in court on their scheduled days.

Arraignment and Preliminary Hearing

During the arraignment, the defendant is read the charges and pleads “guilty” or “not guilty.” At the preliminary hearing, the judge hears all the evidence, including testimony from any witnesses and the defendant. Both sides argue their cases and the judge determines whether the case will go forward based on the evidence.

Pre-Trial and Trial

During pre-trial motions, both parties discuss the evidence they will present in court. During the trial, this evidence is presented to the judge and jury. The jury decides whether the defendant is guilty of the crime, but the judge determines the sentencing or punishment.

Post-Trial

After the trial is over, the defendant has the option to appeal the case. During the appeal process, the crime and case are reviewed to determine the fairness of the verdict. If the case was unfair, it may move to higher courts or the verdict may be reversed. 

The criminal court process is stressful. Understanding what to expect can reduce your stress and allow you to focus on creating the best defense.