Anyone who has ever received a traffic ticket, been arrested, or been charged with a crime knows that the criminal justice process can be intimidating. Investigation, arrest, and the court proceedings that often follow are never pleasant experiences. They’re always stressful, even if the potential consequences are minimal. Not having a firm grasp of exactly what’s happening can make an already difficult experience that much more trying.
While most people only ever have minor involvement with the criminal justice process, an understanding of it can go a long way toward alleviating stress should you ever come face to face with it. Though the process differs depending on where you live and the circumstances of your situation, there are general principles that apply to any criminal case.