Steps at the beginning of a criminal matter
Being charged with a drug crime starts a process that you will have to work through as you try to find a resolution to your case. For some defendants, this will end with a plea deal and others will go through a trial. Knowing some of the basic information about each step can help you to determine what you are going at each one.
One of the first things that will happen is that you will be arrested. This may happen when the officer on the scene believes that you have committed a crime but it might also happen if there is an arrest warrant issued after the fact.
When the arrest is made, the officer will fill out an arrest report that outlines what happened before the arrest. It also includes specific information about the arrest. This is sent to the prosecutor who will decide what to do about the matter. They have three options – they can press charges, decline to press charges, or present the case to the grand jury.
There are many factors that come into the picture when a prosecutor is trying to determine whether charges are appropriate. The facts of the case are important, but the office policies and the prosecutor's own thoughts on justice might also play a part. Some prosecutors might even think about their career's future or a potential career in politics when they are doing this.
If the prosecutor does choose to pursue charges, you will have to go through the preliminary hearing unless the grand jury was used to determine whether charges should be levied or not. This is when the prosecutor would have to show that a trial is warranted.