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Steps in The Criminal Defense Process
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Steps in The Criminal Defense Process

When you find yourself faced with a criminal charge, you may wonder to yourself what happens next. The criminal defense process is a complex one – and one that has been developed and refined over the years. Navigating this process often involves presenting complex legal arguments, attending many court hearings, and deciding whether to plead guilty to an offense or not. All of this should be done with the help of an Oakland County criminal defense lawyer

Arrest and Charges

If police state they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime, they can arrest you. An arrest might happen based on a warrant, a traffic stop, or other circumstances. Keep in mind that not all arrests are lawful and justified, and when an arrest violates your 4th Amendment rights, it can help us get your case dismissed. 

After an arrest, a prosecutor can issue charges or decline to pursue a case. If you face charges, you should receive a court date either upon your release or later in the mail. The court might set a bond for you to post in order to be released. If this happens, let our criminal defense lawyer review the bond to see if we can have it reduced or eliminated before you pay anything. 

Court Hearings

You will need to attend several court hearings, including an initial hearing where you hear the charges against you. You will need to plead guilty or not guilty – and you should never plead guilty to any offense before you consult with a defense lawyer. Even if a charge seems minor, pleading guilty while unrepresented can result in avoidable consequences. 

You will likely have several hearings that are referred to as pretrial conferences. We will represent you at each one and communicate with the judge and prosecutor on your behalf. This is an opportunity to negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor in case you decide to eventually plead guilty. 

We can also schedule motion hearings to present legal arguments involving constitutional violations or other concerns to the judge. The judge might throw out key evidence as a result, which can often lead to charges getting dismissed entirely. 


If you decide not to plead guilty, the next step is to present your defense to the judge or jury. We challenge the prosecutor’s evidence using our investigative resources, trial experience, and understanding of successful defense techniques. We fight for an acquittal of charges in every trial we conduct. If a judge or jury convicts you, we then fight for the most lenient sentence possible. 

Learn How an Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

At The Law Offices of Bradley J. Friedman, we have been fighting on behalf of criminal defendants for years and intimately understand the complex criminal defense process. If you are facing charges and a trip through the criminal defense process, contact us so we can begin protecting your rights and future. 

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