Charged with crime – what happens next 

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Charged With Crime | Comments Off on Charged with crime – what happens next 

Every crime must be penalized with arrest and police report must be filed. After an arrest is made, police must fill in the arrest report and forward it to a prosecutor. The report has all main points of the crime: date, time, location, witnesses, description of the crime, etc.

Based on the report prosecutor can decide what to do next:

He can file a complaint with the trial court, or go to a grand jury and present them the evidence and seek an advice what criminal charges can be brought, or if any should be brought, or decide to do nothing if there are no elements for prosecution.

They usually file criminal charges within three days, although in some jurisdiction this time leap can be shorter, for example: in two days. The swiftness is very important because over the time the circumstances of committed crime can change.


When prosecutor engages himself into a process whether to charge a defendant and which violation he wants to pursue, he must rewind some of the most important factors.

Grand jury had the similar role as the regular jury, except that grand jury makes the decision whether some charges should be brought or not and what charges would that be. On the other hand, regular jury only proclaims if someone is guilty or not.


Grand jury reviews the evidence and decides if it’s going to file charges or not, it doesn’t proclaim guilty like regular jury. Grand jury has 23 members. The opinion of  the decision doesn’t have to be ominous. Their meetings are held behind closed doors and they meet secretly. Potential defendants are not allowed to be present while the jury makes its decision, as well as their lawyers.

If for example, the case is a felony and prosecutor omits the grand jury to file a report, then preliminary hearing must be held. On that hearing prosecutor most demonstrate the state and the judge enough evidence that will support the trial.

If the case is based on charges of the grand jury no preliminary hearing is in need.