Steps From Arrest To Appeal In Criminal Case

You have probably seen in movies and TV series numerous examples of arrests, trials, and verdicts. However, the steps are clear and transparent, so we are here to present you the ways to understand the entire process from arrest to appeal.

Even though it can be different from state to state, you can consider various attorneys to help you such as NYC appellate attorney Stephen Preziosi, who has comprehensive experience in this particular area.

Some cases tend to end up quickly, while others require more steps. Finally, you can differentiate everything and learn about the entire process with ease:

Getting Arrested

The first step is getting arrested for some crime that you’ve committed. Everything depends on circumstances and what will happen next afterward, but it is vital to understand what means to get arrested by the legal rights.

After you get to the police custody, they will start to book you up. You will have to provide fingerprints and photo shoot during the process. They will also provide you with a background check, and you will enter the custody cell until the further notice.

Bond or Bail

The next thing that you should know after you get placed into custody is how much you can pay to get out. That is why you should talk with your attorney to set the appropriate bail based on specific circumstances.

You can influence the decision in a case that you have finished some specific requirements. But your first hearing and appearance in court after you get arrested will be known as an arraignment.

Of course, everything depends on the crime that you wish to choose, but you have to wait for it to get a bail set in some states and areas.

It is the perfect time to find an appropriate attorney if you haven’t done this before.

Plea Bargaining

Since the criminal court system features dozens of cases, you should have in mind that only 10% of them will go to the trial. Therefore, most of them get resolved during the plea bargaining, which is the process of taking the most out of your case without affecting the public.

However, both sides have to agree so that plea bargain could be valid, which is why some criminal cases tend to go to the court instead.

Preliminary Hearing

During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor tries to convince the judge that there is enough evidence that is ruling that you have committed the crime. On the other hand, some states will use the grand jury system instead of it.

During this particular time, the attorney will try to convince the jury or judge that you are not guilty while prosecutor will do the exact opposite.

Pre-Trial Motions

During this particular moment in the legal system, your attorney will have the ability to exclude some evidence against you with the idea to establish the ground rules for the trial. You can also change the venue during this particular time in case that you want it.

It is vital to remember that ruling during this particular stage is also prone to the appealing later in the case.


In case that you’re not satisfied with the plea or you are innocent, you will be able to choose the possibility for the jury to decide your future. The trail features six stages before the final verdict. At the very end, the jury will have to deliberate and decide on your innocence or guilt.

Before that, the judge will explain legal principles that are involved and provide ground rules for the jury.


In case that you get the guilty verdict by a jury, you will have to get sentenced for the crime you committed. However, numerous factors can determine whether you will get the maximum or minimum sentence.

In some states, judges will also require to get statements from the victims of the crime before the sentence. These statements can make an impact on the overall verdict that you get.


After they find you guilty, you will have limited time to appeal to a higher court in case of legal error or if you think that they convicted you unfairly. Have in mind that it is rare to get successful appeals, but you will still have the ability to prove your innocence the last time before going to prison.

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