Individuals charged with crimes may need a lawyer immediately. That is because no one has the right to a bond automatically. Some charges do carry pre-set bonds but not all. The pre-sent bonds are determined by judges in the jurisdiction. However, those charged with more serious crimes may require a bond hearing. The lawyer must file a bond motion and a hearing date is set. At the hearing, the lawyer argues why the defendant should be released on bond. The final decision is up to the judge. Further, the judge bases the decision on things like a defendant’s criminal history. They will also consider whether or not the defendant has a job.
Criminal defense lawyers in Burlington VT are usually hired for preliminary hearings. At a preliminary hearing, the judge determines whether there is probable cause to proceed with the case. Arguments are presented by the defense and the prosecution. However, the prosecutor may present witnesses and some scientific evidence. Meanwhile, the defense questions the witnesses and tries to poke holes in the government’s case. Normally, the judge sides with the prosecutor and allows the case to go forward.
At this point, criminal defense lawyers in Burlington VT prepare pre-trial motions. Depending on the type of case, many motions are mandatory to protect the defendant’s rights. For instance, there are several standard motions in murder cases. In addition, motions to suppress evidence and statements are likely to be filed in any case. The lawyer argues the defendant was not read their Miranda Rights. Further, they must challenge the means wherein any evidence was obtained. Finally, many lawyers file motions for Summary Judgment. This motion lays out an argument that the state cannot prove its case.
The next court date is the arraignment. The prosecutor will officially read the charges aloud. Likewise, the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. At the arraignment, the state may offer a plea bargain. Plea bargains usually involve the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge. In exchange, the prosecutor recommends a lighter sentence. Also, other related charges may be dismissed. To learn more about criminal procedure, contact Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor At Law.