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How might a criminal charge be brought against the accused?

When a person is facing a criminal charge, there can be a lot of questions surrounding the situation. One may not even be aware of how the process of bringing a criminal charge works, or more importantly, how to defend oneself against a criminal charge. Criminal charges can manifest in a few ways: after being arrested by authorities or after a complaint was filed with the local police department. Certain types of crimes often have charges brought in a certain way.

After the initial arrest, there is a process of how a criminal complaint is brought between the arrest and the trial, if a complaint goes that far. There are three ways to bring a criminal charge forward against a defendant: by information, indictment or citation. Information can be brought by a citizen or police complaint, and is then reviewed by a judge to determine if probable cause exists. An indictment can be brought by the same parties, but it will be reviewed by a grand jury. A police officer may also issue a citation to the accused, which can end in a variety of ways.

For more serious crimes, like felonies, the criminal charge is usually brought by information or indictment. If the judge or grand jury determines there isn't probable cause, the criminal complaint could be thrown out. Also, during the pre-trial period, the accused has an opportunity to file motions that would be appropriate for their criminal defense. One could also consider entering negotiations with the prosecution if that is a viable option.

Each criminal charge and criminal defense will be tailored to an individual's situation. No two criminal charges are exactly alike. Figuring out the best criminal defense for when you are accused of a crime is key to achieving the best results possible.

Source: FindLaw, "How Are Criminal Charges Brought Against Someone?," Accessed January 22, 2018

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