The Criminal Process in Illinois
Learn More from a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer
Understandably, this is a frightening and daunting experience to have to
go through. You will likely have numerous questions surrounding the criminal
process. What comes next? How long does every step take? How can a lawyer
help me? At the
Law Office of Steven Fine, we fight fiercely to protect our clients’ rights, create a solid
defense strategy, and advocate for them.
If you are facing criminal charges you have every right to find legal representation
and guide you through this process. Below, our Chicago
criminal defense attorney outlines the steps, from arrest to the final outcome.
Understanding the Criminal Process
This is the initial phase. An officer makes an arrest based on reasonable
suspicion that the individual has committed or is about to commit a crime.
Alternatively, the officer can issue a report with details of their accounts
and make a plan to arrest the individual later.
During the arraignment hearing, the defendant is given to opportunity to
hear the charges that have been brought up against him or her. The defendant
will then enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. In the majority
of cases, a “not guilty” plea is entered to allow the defendant
the right to have his or her case heard at trial.
The prosecution has the burden of proving that there was probable cause
to accuse the defendant of a committing or being involved in a criminal
act. Further investigation is done to recover any physical evidence or
witness testimony. A grand jury may be necessary to subpoena documents
or for the use of laboratory evidence.
Prosecutors from the State Attorney’s office will review the evidence,
such as the police report, to determine whether or not charges should
be brought forth. In federal cases, prosecutors from the government may
also bring charges. The individual may be able to be released on bond.
The judge will set the bail amount.
If probable cause can be found, then a trial will be scheduled. Defendants
have access to review the evidence in the case. Chicago criminal defense
attorneys can work with the prosecutors to work out a plea deal. When
the trial takes place, both prosecutors and defense attorneys will take
turns to make their arguments before a jury of 12. At the end of the trial,
the jurors must render a unanimous verdict. If a guilty verdict is issued,
then the evidence must have been compelling enough to prove guilt beyond
a reasonable doubt.
If the jury finds the defendant guilty, they may file an appeal to prove
that their trial was either mishandled or that there were major legal errors.
Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Our Chicago criminal defense lawyer cannot stress enough the importance
of having an attorney on your case, especially if you have been accused
of a serious offense.
Attorney Steven Fine has a tremendous reputation as a successful trial lawyer who has handled
hundreds of complex cases over the years. He takes the time to research and form a winning strategy.
If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, please do not
hesitate to seek legal representation. Contact the Law Office of Steven
Fine today for an
appointment. We are available 24/7.