Criminal Defense

When you absolutely need the best defense attorney, we hope that you call Barone Law.  Joe Barone has a trial success rate of over 98% in criminal defense cases.  Few attorneys have the courtroom success that Joe has. His personable demeanor and his ability to connect with jurors are key elements in his trial skills.  He has a unique ability to determine which facts and circumstances will resonate with the jury.  His success rate speaks for itself. 
 
If you are facing any criminal charge, call the best when you need the best.  Call Barone Law! 

Common steps in a criminal case

If you are facing any kind of criminal charges, an experienced defense attorney is absolutely essential to your defense. Some of the most common steps in any criminal case are highlighted below. The exact procedure will vary based upon several factors including the nature the offense and whether or not the alleged crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.

Investigation and Arrest

The first stage in any criminal prosecution starts with a police investigation and subsequent arrest. This is usually conducted soon after a crime has been allegedly committed. An arrest may happen at the time of the incident or it may happen at a later date. If there is enough evidence to pursue criminal charges, the police department will often formally seek to an arrest warrant and the issuance of a formal complaint. If you are in custody, the police department may release you after posting bond or they may detain you for formal arraignment.

Arraignment

The arraignment is usually the first court appearance that a defendant will have in any criminal case. This is the stage where the defendant is informed of the charges and likely penalties. It is the courts duty to advise the defendant of the nature of the charge and of his or her procedural rights and to permit the defendant to claim or waive those rights. At the arraignment, the charging document is read (or the reading is waived), and conditions or amount of bail may be set, amended, or continued.

Preliminary Examination

This is a judicial proceeding in the district court to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to continue proceedings leading to a circuit court trial. The burden is on the prosecuting attorney to establish the existence of probable cause to believe that a felony (that is, an offense that cannot be tried in the district court) has been committed and that the defendant committed it. A preliminary examination is not available in misdemeanor cases.

Pre-Trial

This is the stage where the defendant (and his/her attorney) meet with the prosecutor to discuss the possibility of resolution of the case. Oftentimes this is the stage in the proceeding when a plea agreement is reached between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.

Trial

If you are unable to reach a plea agreement, the case is ultimately set for trial. This is the stage where a jury of your peers will determine your guilt or innocence. Selecting the jurors who will ultimately sit for the trial happens through a process called voir dire.

Sentencing

If there is an ultimate conviction, this is the stage where the court will set the penalties. Oftentimes a pre-sentence report is completed by a probation officer to give some guidance to the sentencing judge. If the defendant is convicted of a felony, there are sentencing guidelines which generally prescribe the minimum and maximum sentences that the court should follow. However, the court can depart from the guidelines if there are substantial and compelling reasons for doing so.

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