The law has always been one of the most integral parts of society. Not only does this dictate what people should and shouldn’t do, but it’s also known for maintaining order in different levels of society. At the same time, laws can help each individual have a fair trial in the public’s eyes to hold everyone accountable for their actions while respecting the human rights of each individual.
However, there will be times that certain individuals will abuse laws to their advantage. In some cases, some malicious individuals will charge others with serious allegations and criminal offenses that could seriously tarnish the individual’s reputation. Not only will this ruin an individual’s reputation and future job prospects, but this can also lead to the individual getting jailed for a crime that they did not commit in the first place.
Being accused of a crime is a serious allegation and will go through various essential legal steps. Fortunately, much of the legal system has gone through many changes in the past few centuries to serve the public better.
So what are some important steps to take if you’re being accused of a crime that you did not commit? How can you defend yourself in court and clear out any allegations against you? Here’s what you can do in this scenario.
What Should You Do If You’re Accused?
But right before we get into what are some of the steps that you’ll need to go through, we’ll need first to answer the most common question in this scenario: what should you be doing when you’re accused?
Well, the first thing that you should be doing if you’re being accused of a serious criminal offense is having a legal professional by your side. If you’re in the presence of individuals other than your attorney, any statements that you can make can be used against you, so it’s important to keep any details to yourself until you make plans with the legal professional you hired.
Don’t have a legal expert that can help you through this legal situation? You won’t have to look far since many professional criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience in many cases. As attorneys, they will fight for your rights and defend you in court, no matter how serious your allegations may be. Having professional help and supervision in court is known for being one of the best ways of increasing your likelihood of winning.
But other than having professional help, it’s also important that you understand the steps of a legal proceeding. Here is the most common process when you’re facing charges:
- Arraignment – Right after the suspect has been lawfully arrested by law enforcement. Arraignment is a process of informing the suspect of the charges that are being laid out against them. If the accused does not have access to an attorney, then they’ll have access to an attorney that the court appoints. The judge will also ask the accused to plead and set future schedules for proceedings.
- Preliminary Hearing – Right after the arraignment, the judge will then determine if there is enough evidence regarding the case. Once it meets the burden of persuasion, the prosecution will have sufficient evidence to make the defendant stand trial. The defense will have the right to cross-examine witnesses.
- Pre-trial Hearing – Next, a pre-trial hearing is needed to file motions. Many of these motions will concern the suppression of certain types of evidence and whether individuals are allowed to testify. If there is not enough evidence, then the judge can dismiss all charges.
- Trial – Right after all these stages, the defendant will then stand trial. Both parties will offer opening statements. Although, the defense can reverse the opening statement until the prosecution finished presenting the case at hand. The prosection will then present their witnesses and the evidence that they have gathered. Right after, the defense will then present their evidence. The defense will then offer a closing argument. After both parties have finished the closing argument, the jury will find them deliberate and have a verdict.
As you can see, there are many legal steps that you’ll need to go through. Although it might seem a bit daunting having to go through multiple steps, it’s still a necessary process nonetheless. Keep a cool and collected mindset in this situation while presenting all evidence can yield the best result.
Still, you’ll need to keep in mind that the steps that are being presented are not necessarily exhaustive, and the case proceedings will determine them. There will be instances where certain types of cases are simpler. But some cases will require additional steps and is a bit more complex than usual. If you’re not filled in on everything that needs to be done, you’ll need to consult your attorney and any legal professional helping you. Remember: patience is a virtue in this situation, and effective planning can increase your chances of winning your case.