Criminal law proceedings are complicated, and one misstep along the way could seriously jeopardize your chances of securing the most favorable outcome possible. Since your freedom is at stake, it is worth hiring a criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges. Below, the legal team at Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC, in Elizabethtown, KY, explains the various stages of the proceedings that their team will guide you through when fighting the charges.
A defendant’s first appearance in court is the arraignment, which typically happens within 24 hours of the arrest. During this proceeding, the judge will set bail and list the charges that the suspect is facing. If they are for a misdemeanor, you will also be asked to enter a plea. A criminal defense attorney will likely advise you to plead not guilty, so you have a chance to fight this later.
The Preliminary Hearing & Trial
Unless you plead guilty at the arraignment and receive a sentence, the case will proceed to a preliminary hearing. There, the prosecutor will try to convince the judge to refer it to a grand jury. If they succeed, and it results in an indictment, it will proceed to trial.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be possible to resolve via plea bargaining prior to going to trial. Your attorney will negotiate a fair plea that involves lesser charges and a reduced sentence on your behalf. Otherwise, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer will prepare you for the trial and ultimately help you secure the best outcome possible when the case goes before a judge or jury.
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Elizabethtown, KY, turn to Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC. They have over 30 years of experience providing clients throughout Hardin County quality legal representation. You can learn more about their broad range of practice areas, including child custody and filing bankruptcy, by visiting their website. To schedule an initial consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, call (270) 765-2190 today.