Understanding Criminal Indictment in Arizona Law: The Nine Stages, Charges, and More by Kolsrud Law Offices

Feature Article

A criminal indictment is a serious matter in Arizona, as it is in any state. Understanding how the indictment process works is important for anyone who may face criminal charges. The Kolsrud Law Offices provides valuable information on this topic in its blog post, "How Does a Criminal Indictment Work in Arizona Law?" Here, we will delve deeper into the subject, examining the nine stages of a criminal case, explaining what a grand jury is and how it works, and answering questions such as whether an indictment is the same thing as criminal charges and if it is possible to be indicted without being arrested first.

The Nine Stages of a Criminal Case

A criminal case in Arizona typically has nine stages. The first stage is the arrest or citation. After this, the prosecutor will decide whether to file charges. If charges are filed, the defendant will be arraigned and have a preliminary hearing. The next stages are pretrial conferences, plea bargaining, and trial. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will sentence the defendant to a penalty. The final stages are appeal and post-conviction relief.

What is a Grand Jury?

A grand jury is a group of citizens who are selected to hear evidence in a criminal case and determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant an indictment. Grand juries typically consist of 16-23 people who serve for a period of time designated by law. The grand jury proceedings are led by a prosecutor, who presents evidence and questions witnesses. Grand jury proceedings are secret, and witnesses testify under oath.

Is an Indictment the Same Thing as Criminal Charges?

An indictment is a formal accusation that a defendant has committed a crime. However, an indictment is not the same thing as criminal charges. The prosecutor may file criminal charges without seeking an indictment from a grand jury, or the grand jury may choose not to indict even if the prosecutor presents evidence. If a defendant is indicted, the next stages in the criminal case will proceed.

Can I Be Indicted Without Being Arrested First?

Yes, it is possible to be indicted without being arrested first. If the prosecutor believes that the defendant may flee or be a danger to the community, they may request that the court issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest before the indictment. However, in most cases, the defendant will be arrested before the grand jury proceedings begin.

Should You Hire a Defense Attorney For a Criminal Indictment?

If you have been indicted, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can advise you on your rights and the legal procedures involved in your case. They will also provide legal representation during all stages of your case and may be able to negotiate a plea bargain or reduce your charges.

Contact Kolsrud Law Offices

If you or someone you know has been indicted in Arizona, it is essential to understand the seriousness of the situation and seek legal counsel immediately. The Kolsrud Law Offices have experienced criminal defense attorneys who are dedicated to protecting their clients' rights. For more information on criminal indictments and legal representation, visit their website: Criminal Indictment in Arizona.