Stages in a Criminal Defense Case

What Can You Expect in a Criminal Case and the Stages

Lawyers with criminal in court

An experienced Arizona criminal offense attorney urges interested parties to realize that the criminal process involves numerous stages. Each of these phases is crucial to a case’s outcome. Therefore, familiarity with each step might increase one facing criminal charges of producing favourable decisions.


Obviously, the first phase of the criminal process is arrest. During this stage, the subject in question is apprehended by law enforcement representatives and taken into custody. Authorities can make arrests if they witness the accused committing a criminal act, possess probable cause suggesting the suspect engaged in a criminal offense, or if they obtain a warrant from the appropriate adjudicating entities.


Once the arrested subject is taken into custody, the law enforcement agency in question typically prepares a detailed, written report discussing the specific criminal charges the apprehended individual faces. Specifically, this document contains information regarding what prompted the authorities to make the arrest, significant details about the singular or multiple offenses under scrutiny, and established witness statements. Once these facts have been determined, the prosecuting attorneys confirm the severity of the charges.


Shortly after the suspect has been formally charged, said subject makes their first appearance in court. During this process, known as arraignment, a judge or other court representative reads the official charges to the defendant, advises said subject of their right to legal representation by an Arizona criminal attorney, and asks them to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial Activities

Before a trial commences, a period of time is set aside for the prosecution and defense teams to exchange information as a means of establishing the case’s facts: the process of discovery. As a general rule, the defendant and their criminal defense attorney have the legal right to learn what evidence prosecutors have accumulated against them before the trial begins.

In addition to an exchange of information, both legal teams perform actions such as filing motions and preparing witness summonses. It’s also during this stage both sides might agree not to take the case to trial. For example, the defendant may opt to accept a plea bargain deal should prosecutors offer such an agreement.


The trial stage involves both the prosecution and defense presenting their case in a courtroom setting before a judge and jury. A prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer complete this process by gathering evidence, obtaining expert and eyewitness testimony, and attempting to bring the opposing faction’s arguments into question. Once each side has presented its case, the court requests the jury debate until determining whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. This period is known as jury deliberation. Once deliberation has yielded a unanimous conclusion, the jury notifies the court of this development.

The Verdict

The jury offers its decision through a special proceeding called a verdict. The judge asks the jury foreman if the ruling body has reached a decision regarding the charge or multiple offenses the defendant is accused of. The foreman will then vocalize the ruling before assembled individuals, which typically includes prosecutors, the defense team, and of course, the defendant. If the accused is found not guilty, they are released. If said subject is found guilty, they are taken into the court’s custody.


During the sentencing process, the judge determines how long the guilty party’s incarceration period or what their other punishments will be. Typically, the judge reaches said conclusions in accordance with guidelines based on state or municipal regulations.


Defendants found guilty have the constitutional right to appeal a guilty verdict. The court will then determine if the defendant’s claims carry any validity.

Reaching Out to Gary L. Rohlwing

Arizona residents facing criminal charges are urged to contact respected criminal lawyer Gary L. Rohlwing. Mr Rohlwing possesses a dearth of experience handling a wide variety of criminal cases.

Write a Review on Google
Check Out Our Reviews


We Understand How This Can Impact Your Life and Future. You Need to Hire The Right Lawyer!

Free Initial Consultations

I provide a free initial consultation to all potential new DUI and Criminal Case clients.

Reasonable Rates

You can hire an affordable and experienced lawyer for legal representation.

Payment Options & Plans

I offer flexible payment options and payment plans to help you through this difficult time.

Hands on Approach

I personally handle all my own cases and provide professional legal guidance.

Call Now ButtonOpen 24/7 Even During Covid-19