The next step in the process is your attorney’s request of any and all evidence against your loved one. This step requires the filing of a Formal Legal Motion referred to as an Edwards/Rule Five (5) or “Discovery Motion.” The State must acknowledge the filing of this Motion and respond Formally-providing every piece of evidence they possess that either implicates your loved one and even evidence they possess that serves to exonerate him or her. (Potentially prove them innocent!).
Peter and his Team will thoroughly review every aspect of the State’s Evidence in order to find Fatal Flaws in their case, which might lead to a dismissal or reduction of the Criminal charges.
The Preliminary Hearing:
The next Formal Hearing will the Preliminary Hearing, often referred to as the Probable Cause Hearing. This is Peter’s first opportunity to formally question the Primary Case Agent in your loved one’s case, under sworn oath, on the witness stand, in front of a Judge, while being officially recorded. This is an incredibly important Hearing and should not be waived, except under the most extraordinary circumstances. The State has a skilled Assistant Solicitor assigned to elicit the key facts for the State in order for the case to be bound over for consideration for Indictment. A strong defense and aggressive challenge of the State’s allegations can often lead to a reduction of the charges or even a Dismissal!
The Roll Call Dates, which appear on the initial Bond Forms from the Court, will have been set at the initial Bond Setting. Please make sure these dates are noted on your calendar. Peter will get your loved one excused from these Roll Calls -so no one misses work unnecessarily.
Meetings with Assistant Solicitor
There will be a series of meetings between Peter and the assigned Assistant Solicitor handling the Prosecution of your loved one. At these meetings, there will be meaningful exchanges of evidence as well as in depth discussions regarding any and all legal defenses applicable.
It takes a talented attorney, with years of experience as a Criminal Defense Attorney, who possesses the reputation of being a skillful Courtroom Advocate, to read a Solicitor’s case and get the very best offers or results. If the case has been bound over at the Preliminary Hearing and the Prosecutor feels an a Formal Indictment for either the original or a reduced Criminal charge is still warranted- he will send the matter to the Grand Jury for Indictment.
Once the Defendant is Indicted, his or her charge is Formalized and will require an appearance and Formal Proceedings to conclude the Criminal Matter- unless Peter can convince the Assistant Solicitor otherwise.
Formal offers are generally extended after the Discovery Phase has concluded and the meetings with the Assistant Solicitor have concluded.
You and your loved one will then be brought in to review the accumulated evidence, which might include but are not limited to: Videos, Police Reports, Written and/or oral Witness Statements, Physical Evidence Consideration, Circumstantial Evidence Consideration, Officer Sworn Testimony from Preliminary Hearings, Chemical Test Results and Chain of Custody Issues.It is at this point in time Peter conveys the State’s Position on in regard to prosecuting the case.
There will be meaningful discussions of viable Defenses for your loved one. These could range from Necessity to Defense of Others, to Stand Your Ground Hearings (Self Defense). No possible Defense will be discarded until it has been considered in light of the Evidence in the State’s Possession. There has to be an immense degree of Trust and Confidence in your attorney- as his experience, skill and legal knowledge is the guiding force in recommending the appropriate path to minimize the impact of this arrest on your loved one and for the rest of the Family. Ultimately, if there is to be a Plea to a reduced charge- there will be the preparation of the presentation to the Court requesting a Probationary Sentence.
If there is a Trial- then there will be an immense amount of additional preparation necessary for every aspect- The Defendant’s testimony at Trial, the coaching and practice, the Legal challenges to every piece of the State’s Evidence with the supporting current case law.
Expert Witnesses need to be secured to challenge any questionable prosecution theories that might hurt the Defendant.
Suffice it to say, your choice in whom guides your case from start to finish, makes all the difference. This brief overview of the Criminal Justice Process is not complete, but it is a basic outline of the process one can expect as they or a loved one go through the legal system.
Go with Experience:
Please! If you don’t hire Peter, please hire an experienced Career Criminal Defense Attorney who has actually tried several cases to verdict, as a Criminal Defense Attorney. You have the right to ask any lawyer you hire- if they have tried cases to verdict as a Defense Lawyer.
Your pending Criminal Charges should be the most important thing in your life. Treat it that way.