For many people who are facing criminal charges, especially first-time offenders, the criminal justice system can be confusing and even intimidating. As a criminal defense attorney, I help my clients understand what they need to know about how the criminal justice system works. Just a little bit of knowledge about the complicated criminal justice system can be very helpful in easing your stress level.
When you hire The Law Office of R. Lane Lastinger, P.A., for your criminal defense, you get a Pinellas County, Florida, criminal defense attorney who is focused on helping his clients get the best outcome possible. I will walk you through the process and fight for your freedom.
The Criminal Trial Process
Although every individual case is different, there are some common benchmarks along the path of the criminal process, and there are things I can do to help you at every step of the criminal defense process.
- First, the arrest: Just because you are arrested does not mean you will be charged with a crime. At this phase, exercise your right to remain silent and contact me.
- Second, a state prosecutor determines what crimes, if any, to charge you with: To make this determination, the prosecutor will talk to the police, victims and witnesses. This is a golden window of opportunity where your experienced criminal defense attorney can help the prosecutor get a better understanding of your side of the story to possibly reduce your charges or have them dropped.
There are a lot of things that I can do between the arrest and the time that formal charges are filed. When making the decision about what charges to file, the prosecutor usually does not have the full picture and is not allowed to talk to you personally about it. I can advocate for you, helping the prosecutor see things from your side. Often, this will result in the prosecutor reducing or dropping the charges.
- Third, charges are filed
- Fourth, arraignment: This is the court proceeding in which you will be asked to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.”
- Fifth, intervening pre-trials and motions: At this point, I do the investigation and case-planning, working with the court to determine the scheduling and pace of the discovery and we precede towards trial.
- Sixth, trial: This is the process in which I present evidence and witnesses before a judge or jury and make the best argument for why you are not guilty.
It is much easier to prevent the state from filing charges in the beginning than it is to get them to reduce or drop the charges after they have filed them. Contact me right away to get me on the case.
Contact Me ∙ Free Consultations ∙ 877-782-7151
If you are facing criminal charges, I can help you get a better understanding of how the criminal justice system works. Either call my St. Petersburg office or contact me online for a free consultation with a lawyer