Criminal defense cases cover both criminal suits — charges brought by the government to punish an individual for an act classified as a crime — and civil suits — claims brought by individuals or organizations as a dispute over rights and duties.
Most people feel completely overwhelmed after being arrested or receiving a criminal citation. It’s not planned, and it’s scary. Having no idea of what to expect or how the criminal court process works only adds to the fear and uncertainty. In addition to the details of your case, it’s also important to speak with your criminal attorney about the process as a whole and what to expect moving forward.
Following your initial appearance in court and/or bond hearing, you will be arraigned of your charges. The arraignment hearing is when the defendant is told what criminal charges have been filed, what the potential penalties are and what rights he or she has under the Constitution. Then, there is the discovery phase, when the defendant and his or her defense attorney are able to see and inspect any and all evidence that may be relevant to the case. Next, is typically when any pretrial motions are filed. And finally, the case is resolved either at trial, through plea negotiations or dismissal by the government. If the defendant is found guilty, either at trial or by the entering of a guilty or no contest plea, then their case is scheduled for sentencing in front of the trial judge. The sentencing hearing is where the defendant receives his or her punishment from the court.
This video is meant to serve as a brief overview of the criminal process in Nebraska. In addition to each case having its own specific set of facts and circumstances, there are also many procedural differences between state and federal court. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Nebraska, speak with your criminal defense attorney regarding what to expect in your case.