What Are Your Options In A Criminal Case?

Posted on: 24 October 2019

Hearing that you stand accused of a crime may have you ready to put up a legal fight. It's important, however, to weigh your options. That, of course, begs the question, "What are your options?" Let's look at the ways you may be able to respond to allegations.

During the Investigative Process

Ask any criminal defense attorney, and they'll tell you the best time to fight a case is before it even becomes one. If you're aware the police are investigating you, you should seek a consultation with a criminal law attorney. They can advise you about how to deal with things like search warrants and police requests for interviews. Always have your lawyer present when interacting with the cops or any officers of the court.

Initial Hearings

The next golden opportunity in the criminal process is during the early hearings in a case. In particular, the arraignment hearing is often a defendant's first chance to hear what the charges are against them and to learn why the police thought it was worth the effort to investigate.

This is usually the stage where a judge is most skeptical about a case, and they'll often ask the prosecution why charges were brought. Your criminal defense attorney will also be able to ask about things like charging documents, police affidavits, arrest warrants and other tools of the law used to charge you. If there is a glaring flaw in the case, such as a lack of probable cause, you want to bring it to the judge's attention in order to blow a hole in the case.


The discovery process is the last serious hope before you have to start at least thinking about a plea deal. Legally, the state has to provide your attorney with all the evidence they have gathered. This includes anything that might help you prove your innocence.

In a shooting case, for example, your attorney will have a chance to examine the gun under closely monitored conditions. The state will also have to provide documentation showing an unbroken chain of custody for the item. If there's anything fishy, your lawyer will happily make the court aware of it.


Most estimates indicate only a small number cases ever make it to trial. You have the right to present your side of things to a jury or a judge, but be aware the case against you has passed a lot of scrutiny by the time it goes to trial.

For more information, reach out to a firm like Daniels Long & Pinsel