The stages of a criminal case

by Carter Toni

To maintain consistency and protect the constitutional rights of defendants, the state must bring charges against them for the alleged offense. You can also hire a professional Best Delhi Lawyers for your case. There are many stages to a criminal case. The trial is only one.


The arrest of a defendant by police is usually the first step in criminal cases. This can happen after police respond to a police call, during a traffic stop, or when officers identify a suspect in an investigation. In some cases, certain jurisdictions require that police obtain an arrest warrant.

A magistrate or another judge can grant bail to a person who is under police custody. A judge will consider the severity of the offense and the likelihood of the defendant returning to the court during the case when deciding the bail amount. If the circumstances are not favorable to releasing the defendant, a judge can order that he or she be held without bail. A judge can allow a defendant to be released without bail in certain cases (e.g minor offenses, people with no criminal record). This is done by a written agreement that the defendant will return to court for all appearances.


The arraignment is the defendant’s first appearance in court. The defendant can have the charges against them read by the judge at this first court appearance. This is often when defendants can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges against them. The judge may also set dates and deadlines for filing motions.

Indictment or Information

Depending on the jurisdiction, prosecutors may bring formal charges in one of many ways. They can file information, complaint, or seek a grand juror indictment. An indictment is required for federal charges. Grand jury proceedings are not usually open to the public and can only be presented by the state. However, a preliminary hearing on an information/complaint is an adversarial proceeding in which a defendant can present evidence to contest the existence of probable cause.

Preliminary Hearings & Pre-Trial Motions

The majority of criminal cases require that each side prepares their case and negotiates a plea. Both sides may bring motions to resolve certain issues prior to trial. A defendant may bring motions to suppress evidence that was obtained in violation of his or her rights. This could be considered inadmissible according to the law. exclusionary Rule. Each side can bring motions of limine to the court shortly before trial. These motions ask for testimony or evidence to be withheld in certain cases.


In federal criminal cases as well as in-state proceedings, a defendant can have a jury trial. A defendant can waive a jury trial to have a bench trial. In this case, the judge will decide both facts and law. The defendant is next, and the state will present its case. The jury decides whether to give a verdict.


The court will decide the punishment if the judge or jury convicts the defendant. Federal sentencing guidelines, and similar state guidelines, often specify minimum and maximum sentences as well as identify factors that the court might consider. A separate hearing may be held by the court, where the state can present evidence to support a harsh sentence and the defendant may request leniency by providing evidence of mitigating elements.


An appellate court may review a defendant’s conviction. An appeal must state specific errors or abuses indiscretion by the trial judge. An appeal court can affirm, reverse, or remand the case to the trial court.

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