If you’re facing criminal charges, you likely have many questions, such as: What steps are involved in a criminal trial, and what steps can you take to help your criminal defense attorney win your case? Understanding what to expect during a criminal trial is vital. You risk the maximum sentence if you are ill-prepared for the impending legal process. That said, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a talented Chesterfield Criminal Defense Lawyer who can help shield you from an uncertain future. Please continue reading to learn the legal strategies that may assist you in achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
How Does a Criminal Trial Work in South Carolina?
A criminal case begins when the police file formal charges against you and place you under arrest. After being placed into custody, you will have a bond hearing to determine whether you can be temporarily released. If you are not a danger to the public or a potential flight risk, the judge will set an amount for bail. From here, you must attend a preliminary hearing where the judge will determine whether sufficient evidence is mounted against you to stand trial.
The initial arraignment will be your first formal court appearance. During this stage, you can file your plea of guilt, not guilty, or no contest. If you present a guilty plea, your case will proceed to sentencing. However, if your plea is “not guilty,” the judge will set a date for your next hearing and pretrial conference. At this point, you’ll proceed to negotiations. This involves your legal counsel negotiating to dismiss your case, establish lesser charges, or make a plea deal to benefit your case. The case will move to a full jury trial if the prosecutor does not drop the charges and an agreement cannot be reached.
What Legal Strategies Can Help Me Win A Criminal Case?
If your case proceeds to trial, It’s crucial to retain the legal services of an experienced attorney, as it will maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. One of the primary legal strategies that can be used to help you win your case is filing a Motion to Dismiss. If a judge grants this motion, the case will end, and you will be released immediately. Typically, a motion to dismiss can be based on insufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing or misconduct on the part of the prosecution.
If this legal strategy is not available, your attorney can argue for the exclusion of evidence. A motion to exclude evidence would prevent the jury from being presented with certain information. Typically, this motion is granted when the evidence is unreliable or was obtained after the police violated a defendant’s constitutional rights. If the judge grants a motion to exclude evidence, it can hinder the prosecution’s ability to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it’s much harder for them to achieve a conviction.
For more information about the legal strategies that could benefit your case, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to combat your charges today.