What Can I Expect if I am Charged with a Crime? If you are charged with a crime either a misdemeanor or a felony you will have an initial appearance. This is when you will generally be served with a Criminal Complaint that outlines the charges against you, the probable cause supporting the charges and the penalty if convicted.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor crime you will enter a plea at the initial appearance. If you plead not guilty to a misdemeanor your case will move to a preliminary conference and eventually set for trial. A preliminary conference is an opportunity for your attorney and the District Attorney to discuss potential plea offers regarding the charged crimes
In a felony case, the next step after the initial appearance is the preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the prosecution must present enough evidence to convince the Court that you should stand trial for the offense. If it is decided that your case will go to trial you will then go to an arraignment. In some cases, you can waive the right to a preliminary hearing. The burden on a preliminary hearing is low. At the arraignment, the District Attorney will serve you with formal charges for your particular felony charge. At the arraignment, you must enter a plea.
You have a right to a jury trial in both criminal misdemeanor and felony cases. The jury must be made up of 12 people and the verdict must be unanimous meaning all people must vote to convict. If you are convicted of a felony you lose some very important rights such as the right to possess a firearm as well as the right to vote.
If you, a friend or family member have been arrested and you have questions please contact either Attorney Matt McCasland or Andrew Krueger with questions. In the Baraboo area at (608) 356-3961, Madison area at (608) 824-9540 or Statewide at (866) 455-2993. Please check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com. Remember, at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC we listen, we care, we get results!