What happens in the lead up to a trial in a criminal case?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Any type of arrest, even well before a conviction, can rock a person’s entire life. You might lose your job or experience family problems. You might face an immediate license suspension or a no-contact order.

All of these things, among other issues, might occur right at the beginning of a Virginia criminal case – before you even have a chance to have your proverbial day in court.

If you are feeling like the facts are on your side when facing a criminal charge, you might think that taking the case to trial is the best option.

That may be true – it is important to evaluate the facts in your case carefully, and how those facts apply to the law in question. But, if you do decide to take your case to trial, what can you expect as you move toward that date?

Preparing for trial

“Discovery” is a legal term that, in essence, means that both sides of a case can request and receive information from the other side. For criminal defendants, the most important aspect of the discovery phase of a case is that the prosecution is legally obligated to turn over all of the evidence they have in the case – whether it might tend to be in your favor or not.

Evaluating this evidence is a crucial part of preparing for trial.

When the trial gets closer, a pre-trial conference will usually be scheduled. At this court hearing, the prosecution and the defense will be able to narrow down what evidence can be presented and how, and the judge can make decisions on any outstanding legal arguments. Then, the case can be set for trial.

Knowing what to expect and doing the proper preparation before the trial are crucial to the outcome.