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What types of criminal defense actions occur after arrest?

Kansas law requires law enforcement officers to take certain steps when arresting and charging a criminal defendant. Many residents do not realize that they have specific rights throughout this period that extend far past "the right to remain silent." In fact, those mounting a criminal defense against most allegations in Kansas are also entitled to a speedy legal proceeding and other benefits. Today, we discuss what to expect after you are arrested on suspicion of committing a crime.

What happens after an arrest? When you are arrested, a formal report is given to the area prosecutor to help determine whether charges should be filed. Report information includes specifics about the alleged crime, including witnesses, dates, location and the time of the incident. Based on the information contained in this report, prosecutors decide whether to file charges. Prosecutors can send the case directly to the trial court, or the matter can be sent to a grand jury for further consideration. At this stage, the charges may be dropped altogether.

How soon will you be charged? Charges must generally be filed within three days of a defendant's arrest; in some jurisdictions, the time frame is even shorter. Prosecutors have a significant amount of discretion when it comes to determining whether to charge someone. These prosecutors are often unfairly biased by their own political aspirations and ideas about justice -- even though such philosophies may not be entirely ethical.

What about grand juries? Your case may be sent to a grand jury to determine whether further legal action should be pursued. The grand jury reviews evidence in the case to decide whether it should proceed to trial. These groups of everyday citizens generally work behind closed doors, and they only make recommendations about charges -- they do not ascertain guilt.

The complicated criminal prosecution process may seem intimidating. However, defendants can gain a criminal law edge by seeking help from a defense team. No matter whether someone is charged with sex offenses, violent crimes or some other type of violation, they still have legal rights that deserve to be protected.

Source: FindLaw, "What Happens When You're Charged with a Crime" Sep. 08, 2014

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