There are many different areas of law by which our nation’s governing rules are upheld through the legal system, all in an attempt for legal equity by demanding facts and evidence determine guilt rather than opinion or assumption. Criminal law is one of the largest legal specialties today because so much wrongful activity happens on a daily basis to keep any criminal attorney busy representing one side of the dispute or the other. Regardless which side is represented, a criminal lawyer’s job is to properly defend a client so that a case can be fairly decided and punishments fairly given that are appropriate for the crime committed.
The Criminal Justice System
Built through a complex network of legal professionals, police forces, evidence labs, and many others, the U.S. criminal justice system works to gather evidence about crimes committed, hear both sides of a dispute, and provide judgment by a jury of peers based on presented evidence. After an arrest and/or an indictment for a crime, allegations are then filed with the prosecutor. A case processes through the legal system so that both accused and accuser can build a supporting case with the help of a criminal attorney and then present it to a judge and/or a jury.
Non-Criminal vs. Criminal Allegations
Non-criminal charges involve violation of perhaps a city ordinance or a noncriminal federal or state law. Criminal charges involve allegations of crimes that violate state or federal laws or statutes. Crimes committed by those under the age of eighteen are usually handled under juvenile law. Whether accused or charged with a crime, it is recommended to retain a criminal attorney as soon as possible.
Different Types of Criminal Charges
When a person is initially arrested and jailed after committing a crime, the arresting officer files a report with the prosecutor, whose job it is to determine the type and severity of the committed crime. Less-severe crimes are considered misdemeanors and usually handled with a fine or other punishment, often without a hearing. More severe crimes are felonies and must be heard by a judge and/or jury to reach a judgment decision. After investigations are concluded, some less serous actions may be dismissed immediately. Some types of crimes such as driving while intoxicated carry higher penalties if the action and arrests continue for the same crime, with a first offense considered a minor offense while a fifth arrest could make it a felony.
Anyone who has been accused of a crime or arrested and charged with a crime should contact a criminal attorney for legal representation. Defense lawyers can read the accused information about the event in question and offer a first-impression opinion of how the case sounds to them. After that, it up to the legal counsel and accused person to decide how to continue with the case and what results should be sought.
This is just a brief summary of how criminal law proceeds. The best choice will always be to seek the assistance of a criminal attorney for consultation about the events in question. Don’t handle this alone!
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520