An accusation is a belief that you did something wrong, and a charge is to formally bring it to the justice system. Nobody likes to think of it, but there may come a time when you face a criminal accusation. You may be innocent, but the law may take the accusation seriously.
A series of events triggers after a charge, and you need to seek out help from a legal professional to navigate the case and prepare for the future. In such situations, you should know how to proceed to improve the chances of receiving your due rights and getting a fair outcome.
Many criminal offenses can get you into trouble. The dominant prosecution differs in each state, and so do the sentences. In North Carolina, the most prosecuted crime is drugs. Nationwide, the cases with the most prosecutions relate to drugs, immigration, crimes against persons, white-collar crimes, and child pornography.
To put you on trial, a prosecutor must present their evidence before a grand jury; it’s them that decide whether there is adequate evidence to begin the trial or not. There will be no trial if the grand jury decides there isn’t enough evidence in the case to issue an indictment or a formal charge of that particular offense. You, the defendant, can sit and sort out with the prosecutor before the grand jury convenes; it happens in most cases.
Your Legal Options
If for some reason, the grand jury decides to issue an indictment, it’s then that an arraignment will be arranged, where the judge will inform you of the criminal accusations, present options for defense, and enable you to enter a plea of no contest, not guilty, or guilty. No contest means you won’t fight against the charges, but you aren’t admitting guilt. If your plea is “not guilty,” the case will proceed to trial.
During your trial, you may try to settle with the prosecutor. If the trial goes all the way through, it may end with an acquittal, a mistrial, or a conviction. A mistrial can occur for several reasons and can end the trial, nullify it from the record and prompt a retrial.
If you are convicted, you may get the chance to appeal to a higher court and have the verdict overturned or altered. Navigating this complex process is why you need a good lawyer. If you get convicted somehow, a good lawyer will also help you get the most convenient prison terms.
Know Your Rights
The U.S. constitution enables you a trial before a jury. You have the option to waive the right to a trial to settle with a plaintiff or directly go before a judge, but the right to trial by a jury is there.
According to the constitution, you are innocent until proven guilty. The burden of providing proof of your guilt is on the plaintiff; they have to prove that you are guilty. The proof they provide must also be beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning that the prosecutor should present a strong case that strongly suggests that there’s no other conclusion other than guilt for the accused.
These are the basic tenets of the legal system; they are there to protect all citizens equally. So if you are ever accused of a crime or anything, don’t panic since the burden of proof is on the prosecutor; with a clear mindset, you can mount your defense.
Mounting A Defense
You don’t have to hire a professional lawyer to represent you; you can do it yourself. Although representing yourself in a court of law is an option, a professional lawyer will serve your interests better. The legal system is vast, complicated, and complex such that you can lose yourself in it and potentially the case. For that reason, it’s best to have a professional who understands the system’s intricacies and has a clear view of the best way to navigate a criminal case.
North Carolina, among other states, has strict criminal laws. You will need to consult a lawyer to navigate its strict and often confusing statutes. You can find a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer to help you get the best outcome possible. Specifically, a defense lawyer can help you measure your odds of success and negotiate a deal with the prosecution, make investigations, and other services in a criminal case. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the state will provide one for you.
Get A Lawyer
If you’re ever accused of a crime, don’t panic. Before worrying about any potential charges, seek counsel from a lawyer that will interpret your particular case and will be able to tell if there’s any cause for concern. Follow their lead, and if it’s more serious circumstances that involve litigation, you will ultimately be in a better position than if you faced charges alone.