Anyone who is indicted will quickly become familiar with how a case moves through federal courts. An attorney will be able to help you through each stage of the process and make sure you know what to expect as the case moves along.Before pretrial there will be both an arraignment as well as investigation. An arraignment is when the defendant is taken before a judge, read the charges he or she is facing and asked how he or she pleads. If a defendant pleads guilty, the defendant is given a time to return to court for a sentence.
If the defendant pleads not guilty, a trial time and date is set instead. A third option is that a defendant may also enter a plea bargain with the prosecution. Oftentimes, that means the defendant would agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges or some, but not every charge and the prosecution agrees to drop the remaining charges.
After an arraignment, if a defendant pleads not guilty, there will be a thorough investigation before trial. Investigators will interview witnesses, visit the scene of the crime and examine any physical evidence. It is crucial for criminal defense lawyers to determine if evidence the government will use was obtained legally. For the most part, anything illegally seized may not be used at a trial.
If all the evidence was obtained legally or allowed in the trial, the next step will be heading to trial.