Category Archives: Understanding the Criminal Process

Federal

Most crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the state where the offense occurred, but there are exceptions. The federal government has responsibility for enforcing crimes that violate a statute pass by the United State Congress, called federal crimes. There are many federal crimes, but the most common are kidnapping across state lines, interstate drug trafficking, counterfeiting, acts of terrorism, bank robbery and postal fraud.

If you are charged with a federal crime, you’ll need a lawyer licensed to practice in the federal court where the case is pending.
Here’s what to expect if you’re charged with a federal crime:

After you are arrested, a pretrial services or probation officer of the court will interview and look into your background. The information they gather will help a judge decide whether to release you into the community before your trial or impose conditions of release.

At your first court appearance, the judge will tell you what charges have been filed, consider whether to release you on bail or remand you to jail, and determine whether there is probable cause to believe you committed the crime(s) you’re being charged with. If the judge decides there’s probable, the case will move forward.

Next up is an arraignment, where you will enter your plea. You have three choices …

  1. You can ask for a continuance, which would give you and your lawyer more time to discuss the strategy of your plea.
  2. You can plead guilty, after which a case will be established for your sentence.
  3. You can plead not guilty. If you do that, your case will be set for a pre-trial conference and jury trial.

If you plead not guilty, a trial date will be set.

As a defendant, you have the right to a trial in which there are 12 jurors deciding the verdict. You also have the right to waive a jury trial and have the judge decide.

In any of these scenarios, you’ll be thankful you used Warrior Lawyers, the renowned Criminal Defense firm Ariagno, Kerns, Mank and White, L.L.C. Nobody knows the Kansas legal system like the Warrior Lawyers, who have a proven track record of aggressive and successful defense, both in law and fact. Call them today at (316) 265-5511.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are designated as Class A, B, C, or unclassified, with Class A being the most serious and unclassified being the least serious. Each designation has its own maximum punishment. In Kansas, possession of marijuana for personal use is a Class A misdemeanor, battery is a Class B, and patronizing a prostitute is a Class C. Unclassified misdemeanors are just misdemeanors that lawmakers haven’t categorized into A,B, or C, and in most cases has maximum punishments aligned with Class C.

If you are arrested for a misdemeanor, you should cooperate with police but say as little as possible before obtaining a lawyer. A lawyer can walk you through each step of the process, and anything you say without your lawyer could be manipulated and used against you.

Here’s what to expect if you are arrested for a misdemeanor in Kansas:

A misdemeanor case begins with an arraignment, where you will be told what you’re being charged with and made aware of your rights. This is the first opportunity for you to tell the judge how you plan to plea, guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you plead guilty a judge can sentence you on the spot, so for most cases it makes sense to plead not guilty so you and your lawyer have time to come up with a plan. During your arraignment a judge may set bail, an amount of money you put up as a promise to return for your future court dates.

Following your arraignment and pre-trial conference, you will have a preliminary hearing. This hearing is used for a judge to decide if there is enough evidence in your case to go to trial. This hearing is not used to determine if you are innocent or guilty.

The next step is entering your plea in a District Court Arraignment. You have three choices …

  1. You can ask for a continuance, which would give you and your lawyer more time to discuss the strategy of your plea.
  2. You can plead guilty, after which a case will be established for your sentence.
  3. You can plead not guilty. If you do that, your case will be set for a pre-trial conference and jury trial.

Following this arraignment, your trial date will be set.

For misdemeanor charges, you may have a pre-trial conference. This is a meeting between you and your lawyer and the prosecution. Most likely this conference will include discussions about plea bargains and pre-trial motions.

As a defendant, you have the right to a trial in which there are 12 jurors deciding the verdict. You also have the right to waive a jury trial and have the judge decide.

In any of these scenarios, you’ll be thankful you used Warrior Lawyers, the renowned Criminal Defense firm Ariagno, Kerns, Mank and White, L.L.C. Nobody knows the Kansas legal system like the Warrior Lawyers, who have a proven track record of aggressive and successful defense, both in law and fact. Call them today at (316) 265-5511.

Felonies

Felonies can fall under many categories: Domestic violence, homicide, DUI, drugs, traffic and other crimes.

If you are arrested for a felony in Kansas, you are far better off saying as little as possible until you obtain or visit with your lawyer. Even if you’re 100 percent innocent, one little detail from something you say could be manipulated and used against you in court.

The aspects of charged with a felony are sometimes complicated. But there’s no getting around this simple truth: Having a felony charge on your record could ruin your life.

Here’s what to expect if you are arrested with a felony in Kansas.

You will get questions from the police. Again, say little. There’s no need to be rude, but do not attempt to “handle the situation” to the police yourself.

From this point on, you are a defendant in need of a good criminal defense lawyer. If your house caught on fire, you wouldn’t hesitate to call 911.The same principle applies here.

The next step is an arraignment, when a defendant is simply read his rights and is informed of the charges against him. Every defendant has the right to an arraignment within one business day of when he was arrested.

So if you have a warrant and decide to turn yourself in, don’t do so before a weekend or a holiday. Those aren’t considered business days, and you’ll be sitting in a jail cell that much longer.

The judge may decide not to set bail at this arraignment, if he thinks you may not show up for a scheduled court date, or if he thinks you are a danger to society. Be prepared for the judge to bring up your past record, or ask you about your personal life.

If the judge does set bail at the arraignment, and you can afford to pay it, you are free until your preliminary hearing. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the judge to determine if there is enough evidence for your case to be sent to a “real” trial. The prosecuting attorney does not have to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, only that there is substantial evidence that you committed a crime.

During this time, attorneys on both sides have the opportunity to make pre-trial motions.

Sometimes, your criminal defense lawyer will be given the option of waiving a preliminary hearing. He will weigh the circumstances and tell you whether or not would be a good, strategic decision.

The next step is entering your plea in a District Court Arraignment. You have three choices …

  1. You can ask for a continuance, which would give you and your lawyer more time to discuss the strategy of your plea.
  2. You can plead guilty, after which a case will be established for your sentence.
  3. You can plead not guilty. If you do that, your case will be set for a pre-trial conference and jury trial.

If you plead not guilty, your defense lawyer’s preparation for the pre-trial conference is crucial. Both sides will be gathering, organizing and presenting their evidence.

At the pretrial conference hearing, the judge must be satisfied that his orders have been followed and both sides are prepared. In some instances, a case will be resolved between the prosecutor and defense lawyer. Otherwise, a date is set for trial.

As a defendant, you have the right to a trial in which there are 12 jurors deciding the verdict. You also have the right to waive a jury trial and have the judge decide.

In any of these scenarios, you’ll be thankful you used Warrior Lawyers, the renowned Criminal Defense firm Ariagno, Kerns, Mank and White, L.L.C. Nobody knows the Kansas legal system like the Warrior Lawyers, who have a proven track record of aggressive and successful defense, both in law and fact. Call them today at (316) 265-5511.

Phone: (316) 265-5511
Ariagno, Kerns, Mank & White, L.L.C.
328 N. Main St.
Wichita, KS 67202


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