The time period between the time you are arrested and your day in court might be filled with trepidation, but your attorney will be very busy preparing to defend you against the marijuana possession charges. Criminal procedure dictates that events occur in a certain order, and it might help relieve some of your anxiety about the case if you know what is happening next. Read on to find out what happens between your arrest and the bang of the judge's gavel.
A Crime Is Committed
There must be a specific violation that sets the wheels of justice rolling. In some cases, the crime is discovered by an investigation, and in some cases, an arrest is the result of law enforcement observing the crime being committed. For example, a fraud case might require months of combing through financial reports before an arrest can be made. In your case, you may have been discovered with marijuana in your vehicle and are arrested as a result.
You Are Charged with a Crime
Law enforcement is required to let you know about the charges you are facing. This is often accomplished with an arraignment or advisement and takes place soon after an arrest. In this hearing, you are asked to enter a plea, advised about bail, and informed of the charges. You can wait until after this hearing to seek legal help, but having an attorney with you might help you get bail or have it reduced.
The prosecutor's office and your attorney must investigate the circumstances of the alleged crime in order to prepare for a trial. Some investigation may have led to your arrest but the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. This can require an extensive amount of investigatory techniques. Your own attorney may be limited in the scope of an investigation until they can find out what the state's case holds in store.
Your Case Is Built and Discovery
Discovery is vital to the trial preparation process. Both your side and the prosecutor's side must comply with requests for information that will help form a case. Your attorney will be sharing and receiving information during discovery, and that process will produce the beginnings of your defense. Your attorney will find out what evidence the state has against you, the names of witnesses that are prepared to testify against you, the results of tests that prove you committed a crime, and more. The other side will find out the same information, and they will be prepared to question your defense.
Speak to a marijuana possession attorney to learn more about what happens before your trial begins.