Whether you’re actually taken into custody and booked into the jail or issued a written summons with a court date to appear, a criminal case begins formally begins with the filing of a “charging information” by the prosecutor’s office. The charging information is a document that sets forth the conduct that the prosecutor believes constitutes a criminal offense as well as the particular charge. Once a charging information has been filed a court will conduct an initial hearing. The purpose of an initial hearing is to advise a defendant of the charge(s) against him or her as well as the minimum and maximum penalties. Most Indiana courts will then set the matter for a pretrial (status) conference and either a bench trial or jury trial date.
It is important to retain an attorney as quickly as possible as the court may set deadlines for the filing of certain motions. Our attorneys at Garrison Law Firm will help you understand the procedures of a criminal court and work toward the best possible resolution.