A person who is facing criminal charges who hasn’t ever been involved in the criminal justice system might have some concerns and questions about the process. With your freedom and finances on the line, it is crucial that you understand as much about the process as possible. Here are three things that you should consider if you find yourself facing any criminal charges in Indiana.
Civil rights can have an impact
The United States Constitution gives people in this country some very specific rights. These rights can have an impact on criminal cases if they aren’t respected during the criminal justice process. Some of the rights that people have that might impact a criminal case include the right to have an attorney present during questioning, the rights pertaining to searches and seizures, and the right to remain silent.
If any of your rights are violated, there is a chance that certain parts of the case against you couldn’t be used. For example, if a search isn’t conducted in a legal manner, the evidence collected in that search might be able to be suppressed so that it can’t be used in the prosecution’s case against you.
Evidence handling matters
The evidence that is against you has to be handled in a manner that prevents it from becoming tainted. Mishandled evidence could produce results that make it seem like you are guilty, even when you are innocent.
As part of a defense, how evidence was collected, processed, and moved through the chain of custody has to be evaluated to determine if there are any concerning points that need to be addressed. If the evidence wasn’t handled properly, steps must be taken to show what went wrong or to have the evidence completely removed from the case.
Plea agreements are sometimes possible
The vast majority of criminal cases never make it to trial. This isn’t because prosecutors suddenly decide to drop charges. Instead, these cases are resolved through plea agreements. There are three different types of plea bargains. The least common is the fact bargain, which pertains to the evidence and facts of the case.
The two most common, which are sometimes used in conjunction with each other, are charge bargaining and sentence bargaining. These agreements usually involve th e defendant having to plead guilty to charges in exchange for specific sentencing recommendations. This doesn’t always mean that the defendant would be able to avoid incarceration or other penalties, but it does give the defendant some measure of control over what happens.