If you have been charged with domestic abuse and your case is going to court, below is the process that will happen to you. Knowing this information can help you be ready on this day. One thing that is important before you go to court is to hire a criminal defense attorney. This professional can make things go smoother for you.
The first thing that will happen is an arraignment. With this, the judge looking over your case will read information about what you are being charged with. The judge may do this on the day of your arraignment, or they may read this information before arraignment.
You will enter a plea during your arraignment. The criminal defense attorney that you hired will go with you to the arraignment to make sure the process goes well for you. During the arraignment, the prosecutor has to show the court the evidence they have that proves your crime. This may be evidence like pictures of the abused person. If the attorney has no evidence to show, the judge may throw the case out, and you will not be charged with anything.
Your bail will also be set during the arraignment. This is when the criminal defense attorney is very important. This is because the attorney may be able to get your bail reduced if you are charged.
If the prosecutor had enough proof and you are arrested, the case would go to trial. The rights you have for your trial will depend on the jurisdiction or state that you live in. Your attorney will know what your rights are. For example, you may have the right to have a fast trial or to have a trial by jury if you are facing jail or prison time. You may also have the option of choosing the judge at your trial, which is known as a bench trial.
The jury will first be selected by the attorneys and the judge. The trial will then start. The prosecutor will first do opening arguments and present your case. Your criminal defense attorney will do the same. Witnesses will be called, and the evidence will be shown, etc.
Once the trial is over, the jury will reach their verdict. If you are found guilty, you will have a sentencing hearing to determine how much time you will spend in prison. The criminal defense attorney may be able to get your prison time reduced in some cases.
Your criminal defense attorney can go over this information with you in much more detail.