Criminal matters range from petty misdemeanors, for example operating after suspension of your motor vehicle license, through major felonies, for example home invasion. Each charge has direct consequences including possibly jail, a fine, or court costs. Additionally, the charge can have collateral or added consequences, for example loss of your right to operate a motor vehicle or your ability to practice your chosen profession. It is critical that one be aware of these points.
A criminal matter is often known about prior to a complaint or indictment being filed in court. This is the investigatory or pre-indictment stage of a proceeding. An attorney can investigate and advise one on what to do. It is at that point been attorney should be retained.
After a complaint or indictment is returned an attorney should be hired to represent the person in court. The first stage after a complaint or indictment is returned is the arraignment. This is when one is told what the charges are which have been filed against the person.
A pretrial conference typically follows the arraignment. At the pretrial conference, the defendant and his attorney are provided with basic discovery about the case. Thereafter, motions for further discovery, to dismiss the charges, and to suppress evidence are often filed. Depending upon the outcome of these proceedings, a decision to engage in plea bargaining is made. If the plea bargaining is not undertaken or unsuccessful or if the client believes that the case against him cannot be proven or the individual is innocent of the charges, a trial is held.
Attorney Erickson has secured not guilty verdicts or dismissals for individuals charged with all types of crimes including crimes of violence like: