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Criminal Process in a Federal Court

The process behind a federal court case can be exceedingly complicated and in some cases, this process can continue for years while the accused is detained and unable to go home or continue their daily life and business. Depending on the circumstances or nature of the crime for which you are accused, federal agents may be investigating you and building a case.

During this time it is very important to keep in mind that making false statements to a federal agent is a federal crime in itself. Therefore it is important that you refuse to make any statements or answer any questions unless you have a Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer present for criminal defense representation. Once a case has been built against you, an arrest warrant is issued.

About Detention Hearings

Upon your arrest, it must be determined whether you will have to spend the time before your trial in or out of prison. In most cases, the government will insist that you be detained before your trial.

During your detention hearing a judge will determine if you are a flight risk or if you pose a danger to your community if released. These detention hearings can be very important as they set the tone for the rest of your trial.

During a detention hearing your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine your arresting agents before the federal trial. If you are not considered a flight risk or a danger to your community, the terms of your release will be negotiated. We seek to get our clients out of detention while they await trial.

Indictment, Arraignment, and Trial

After your detention hearing, all evidence held against you will be presented in front of the grand jury. The grand jury will then vote on whether to indict the offending individual.

An indictment leads to your initial appearance before a judge who will read you your rights and the complaint filed against you. During your arraignment, your charges will be read to you and your lawyer will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

A not guilty plea will result in a jury trial. In many instances, the government will offer reduced sentences for a guilty plea.

Whether or not to plead guilty is entirely up to you, but you can rest assured that your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at Martinian Lawyers will be there every step of the way to provide guidance when making this difficult decision. Although the evidence against you could appear compelling, in an astonishing number of cases we discover serious flaws in the prosecution’s case and relentlessly exploit them to defend our client, with their freedom and future as our utmost concern.

Contact a Los Angeles federal crime attorney if you would like to know more about the criminal process in a federal court.