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Steps in a Misdemeanor Case

Written by Tana Carpenter. Posted in Resource Center

1. Crime is reported by the victim or witness, or law
enforcement observes the crime.
2. Law enforcement signs charge to prosecute and/or makes
arrest, or the victim meets with the prosecutor to file
charges.
3. Prosecutor reviews case to decide if there is enough evidence
to file charges. If so, the prosecutor issues a warrant
for arrest or a summons (notice to appear in court).
4. At arraignment, the defendant hears the charges, may
request an attorney, and enters plea. Bond is set. Victim
may request a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). If the
plea is not guilty, then another court date (pre-trial) is
set.
5. If the plea is not guilty, motions may be filed and/or a
plea agreement may be reached at the pre-trial, or anytime
before trial begins. If the plea is guilty or no contest,
the court can immediately go to the sentencing
phase (see step 8).

Steps in a Misdemeanor Case

  1. Crime is reported by the victim or witness, or law enforcement observes the crime.
  2. Law enforcement signs charge to prosecute and/or makes arrest, or the victim meets with the prosecutor to file charges.
  3. Prosecutor reviews case to decide if there is enough evidence to file charges. If so, the prosecutor issues a warrant for arrest or a summons (notice to appear in court).
  4. At arraignment, the defendant hears the charges, may request an attorney, and enters plea. Bond is set. Victim may request a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). If the plea is not guilty, then another court date (pre-trial) is set.
  5. If the plea is not guilty, motions may be filed and/or a plea agreement may be reached at the pre-trial, or anytime before trial begins. If the plea is guilty or no contest,the court can immediately go to the sentencing phase (see step 8).
  6. If no plea agreement is reached, trial occurs within 30 days if the defendant remains in custody, or 90 days if out on bond, unless the defendant gives up his right to a speedy trial.
  7. Judge or jury finds the defendant guilty or not guilty.
  8. If found guilty, the judge sets a date for sentencing, reviews evidence and decides the sentence. At this stage the victim may make a statement about how the crime has impacted his or her life.

*Some of the steps in felony domestic violence cases are different; talk to your advocate or local prosecutor’s office to find out more if your abuser is charged with a felony.

 

 

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