Stages of a Juvenile Defense Case
After receiving your criminal charges in court, you will be given time to retain a defense attorney. It is important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will need time to collect all the police reports (discovery). Your defense attorney is not able to effectively represent you without all the discovery in your case.
Depending on what county or court you are in, your case will be set for a type of pre-trial conference with the prosecutor. Often you will be given a plea offer by the prosecutor. If you accept the offer, you will plead guilty to the offense and be sentenced by the judge. If you do not accept the offer, you will plead not guilty and set the case for trial. You are often allowed to set the case for trial before a judge or jury. It is important that you always request a jury trial. A misdemeanor case entitles you to a jury of six. A felony case entitles you to a jury of twelve. All jurors must agree that you are guilty to return a verdict of guilty. If just one juror believes you are not guilty, you will not be found guilty as charged.