What should I expect in a criminal proceeding?
The court process is often lengthy and confusing. The following is a general outline of the criminal prosecution states. Individual cases may vary.
  • First Appearance - where the bail is set, conditions of release are ordered and a public defender is appointed, if appropriate
  • Omnibus Hearing - where the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty
    • If the plea is not guilty, a pre-trial hearing is set
  • Pre-Trial Hearing - where plea agreements are negotiated with input from victims
    • Victim presence is not required but is recommended
    • If defendant pleads guilty, sentencing is on the same day
    • If defendant please not guilty in any case, trial date is set
  • Trial - where witnesses testify about the facts of the case
    • Can be with or without a jury
    • Victim is required to come if subpoenaed
  • Sentencing - if the defendant is found guilty, judge imposes punishment which can include jail or prison time, fines, community service, restitution to the victim, terms of probation, counseling or treatment programs, etc
    • Victim is encouraged to attend and give a Victim Impact Statement

Show All Answers

1. Who do I contact if I have been a victim of a crime?
2. Where's the Victim Witness Assistance Program Located?
3. What should I expect in a criminal proceeding?
4. What is Restitution?
5. How can I request restitution?
6. What is Reparation?
7. What is the difference between Restitution and Reparation?