So, you have been arrested on domestic violence charges in California. You are probably worried about the upcoming legal processes -- and you might not have a clue about what to expect after you are taken into custody. Although the criminal defense process may seem a little intimidating, you can quickly learn the basics. Today, we provide you with information about what to expect after you have been arrested and are facing domestic violence charges.
If you have already been arrested, then the next step if your criminal case is generally the arraignment. This is the first time you will appear in court. You will enter your plea at this time: guilty, not guilty or no contest. A "no contest" plea is used when the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is enough evidence available to convict. Defendants may be released after posting bail or meeting other requirements, or they may be required to stay in custody until the next step in the legal case.
Additional hearings may occur in the interim, but the next stage in the criminal case is generally the trial. Only those who plead "not guilty" are entitled to a criminal trial. The trial date is set, a jury is selected and evidence is presented from both the defense attorneys and the prosecution. A verdict is then handed down to determine whether the defendant should receive a domestic violence conviction. An appeal may follow thereafter.
Those facing criminal charges for family violence should know that they have a number of options throughout the legal process. Entering a plea, choosing whether to go to trial and appealing a verdict may all be considered good strategies for your defense, depending on the nature of the alleged violation. Each of these choices should be carefully considered before they are formally submitted, however, because no two criminal defense cases are alike.
Source: California Courts, "How Criminal Cases Work" Aug. 04, 2014