For anyone who has never faced criminal charges, understanding the whole criminal law process can be somewhat confusing. If you can relate and are now facing a charge, here are three important things you should understand about the case you are preparing to settle.
You are the defendant and the state is the plaintiff
For you to have criminal charges brought against you, it is the state you live in, or the state where the crime was committed, that must pursue these charges against you. If the state determines there is enough evidence to pursue the charges, they will file them with the courthouse. You will be notified about the charges, and you might even be arrested for them. The state is the plaintiff in the case, and you become the defendant in the matter.
You have rights in your case
As a defendant, it is important to understand that you have rights, and the court and police must follow the law by making sure they do not violate your rights. One such right is the right to not speak during your case. This right comes from the right to remain silent. Saying the wrong things could cause you to incriminate yourself, and you should realize that you do not have to say anything relating to your case. You should, however, talk to your lawyer about your case, though, as your lawyer will help you fight it.
Another right you have is for a fair and speedy trial. If the state is trying to prosecute you on criminal charges, they must give you the chance to go through a trial, as this is your right. You have many other rights as well, and your lawyer will help you understand them and utilize them to your advantage.
You will need a defense strategy and plan
Finally, it is important to develop a defense strategy and plan for your case as you begin working on it, and you will need a lawyer for help with this. Your defense strategy and plan will help determine the route you take with your case and could help you end up with the best possible results for the criminal charges you are facing.
You are allowed to represent yourself in your case, but this is not usually a good idea. Instead, hire a lawyer for help, and you can do so by contacting a criminal law firm (such as the Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser) for help.