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The criminal procedures of a criminal case

When individuals in Virginia and elsewhere are charged with a crime for the first time, they are likely unsure what to expect. Sure, he or she has probably seen this situation play out in a movie or television show. But, reality is much different than what is portrayed on the screen. Thus, it is important that all criminal defendants take the time to understand the process they are about to go through and how a defense strategy could help them obtain a favorable result.

Most criminal defendants are charged with a crime and placed under arrest. This can be an emotional, overwhelming and scary time. However, taking the time to remember the details of this event could help with the defense process. If certain legal procedures are not followed, this could open up defense opportunities claiming an unlawful arrest.

Unless a defendant decides to enter into a plea bargain, the next step is the criminal trial. This is where evidence is provided and when a defendant's defense strategy is put into action. This is also when a jury, who is instructed that the defendant is presumed innocent, determines whether the defendant is guilty of the charges or not. If a guilty verdict results, a defendant has the ability to file post-trial motions, such as a motion for a new trial.

Whether it is though a guilty plea, plea bargain or a jury verdict, when a defendant is found guilty of a crime, the next phase of the criminal procedure is sentencing. This is when the appropriate punishment for the crime is determined, which is based on applicable laws and factors associated with the case.

The description above is a brief overview of the criminal procedures of a criminal case. It can be a rather complex process, meaning defendants should take the time to fully understand it and how best to navigate it. Taking the time to develop a strong criminal defense cold help them reduce or even dismiss the charges against them, possibly avoid harsh penalties.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Criminal Procedure," accessed on March 25, 2018

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