STAGES OF THE CRIMINAL PROCESS
After you are arrested, you will go before a judge, who will set your bail. You will then have an Arraignment, during which you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. After pleading not guilty you will have a Preliminary Hearing if you are charged with a felony. The Preliminary Hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause, which means that it is more likely than not that a crime has occurred and that it is more likely than not that you committed that crime. This is an adversarial proceeding and the defendant's attorney has the right to cross-examine any witnesses that the prosecution offers; usually this would be the police officer who arrested you. If you are arrested for a misdemeanor, you will proceed directly to trial after your arraignment. If you are arrested for a felony, the next time you will have to appear in court is for a Case Review. Adults have two case reviews before proceeding to trial in Superior Court, and juveniles have one case review before proceeding to trial in Family Court. Case Reviews present an opportunity to settle a case prior to trial by negotiation with the Attorney General’s office. If the case cannot be resolved, then the next step is Trial . Here, the Attorney General’s office must prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that you are guilty of what you are charged with. The Attorney General’s office must prove every element of the offense you are charged with beyond a reasonable doubt, or else you are not guilty of the offense charged. You can choose either to have a trial in front of a 12 person Jury or in front of a judge. If you are convicted, then you will be sentenced by the Judge who presided over your trial, either immediately after the trial or at a sentencing date in the near future.
At all times during the criminal process, you are entitled to Due Process to ensure that you are treated fairly. Due Process is guaranteed by the United States Constitution and guarantees that the rules of criminal procedure must be followed at all times, starting with your arrest until your trial and possible sentencing. If at any time during the criminal process your due process rights are violated, you will gain rights that can benefit you, such as the right to suppress certain evidence against you at trial.
The criminal defense law office of Richard Zemble, Attorney at Law, in Wilmington, Delaware, serves the legal needs of his clients in communities throughout all three counties of Delaware, New Castle county, Kent county and Sussex county, including Arden, Bear, Bellefonte, Bethany Beach, Bethel, Bowers, Bridgeville, Camden, Cheswold, Claymont, Clayton, Dagsboro, Delaware City, Delmar, Dewey Beach, Dover, Ellendale, Ellesmere, Farmington, Felton, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Frederica, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harrington, Hartly, Hockessin, Houston Kenton, Laurel, Leipsic, Lewes, Lincoln, Little Creek, Magnolia, Marydel, Middleton, Milford, Millsboro, Newark, New Castle, Newport, Odessa, Ocean View, Pike Creek, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Slaughter Beach, Smyrna, Stanton, Townsend, Wilmington, Woodside and Viola. The Richard Zemble law office serves the legal needs of clients from Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Chester and Delaware Counties and from New Jersey. Zemble is a member of the Delaware Bar, the Pennsylvania Bar and the New Jersey Bar Associations. He also serves clients from Maryland who face criminal charges in Delaware.