What are the typical steps in a criminal proceeding in Florida?
Criminal proceedings generally start with an arrest, or in the case of misdemeanors a notice to appear. After the arrest date, or the notice to appear date, there will be an arraignment set in court. At this arraignment, you will be expected to answer to the charges. Prior to the arraignment, the arrest report will be sent to the State Attorney’s Office, where an intake attorney will review the charges and decide whether to A, file the charges or B, file reduced charges. Once you appear in court for your arraignment, if a not guilty plea is entered, the discovery process will start. In this process your attorney will obtain all the police reports in your case. Your attorney will take depositions of all the witnesses in this case. At that point, there’s gonna be a decision whether to proceed to trial or enter into plea negotiations with the state. If there’s a trial, it’s obvious what happens. You go before a jury and they are asked to determine your guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. If you enter into a plea, the judge will accept the plea and there will be a sentencing.