If you’ve been charged with a crime, you probably have a lot of questions about what comes next. At the Marc Lopez Law Firm, defending clients and guiding them through the criminal process is what we do.
The First Step
So what happens after you’re charged? The first step is usually an initial hearing. This is where a judge will read you the charges and potential penalties. At this point, they’ll also determine if you’re going to hire your own attorney or if you qualify for a public defender.
Court Hearings and Pre-Trial Conferences
After the initial hearing, the judge will set future court dates, including a series of pre-trial conferences. Each of these conferences is an opportunity for the prosecutor and your attorney to meet and discuss the case. Depending on the county, this may be handled formally in front of a judge or off the record.
The Case’s Resolution
Ultimately, a criminal case will end up one of two ways. The first is through a trial—either with a jury or just in front of a judge. Each side makes their case, and a verdict is delivered.
The second option is through an agreement with the State. This might mean a diversion program, or it might mean that certain charges will be dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea. It all depends on the facts of the case.
Make the Right Call
If you need legal representation or have questions about the criminal process, the Indiana criminal lawyers at the Marc Lopez Law Firm can help. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!