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What To Expect During Douglas County Pretrial Procedures

Getting ready for a trial can be a daunting process. Knowing what to expect, however, can make the situation easier. Understanding Douglas County pretrial procedures is key for anyone who may find themselves facing criminal proceedings. In this guide, you'll find answers to questions regarding bail and plea bargains, as well as information on the various forms of release prior to trial.

What is Bail and How Is It Set in Douglas County?

Bail is an amount of money set by the court to allow a defendant out of jail before their trial takes place. The purpose of setting bail is to ensure that the defendant will appear for subsequent court dates, as well as to protect the safety of the community. In Douglas County, a magistrate or judge sets the amount of bail at a hearing after considering the accused person's past criminal history and the severity of their current alleged crime.

How Do Plea Bargains Work?

Plea bargains are an agreement between a defendant and prosecutor that allow for the defendant to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a more lenient sentence. The prosecutor and/or judge has to agree to the terms of the plea bargain before it is accepted by the court. In Douglas County, plea negotiations may include pre-trial diversion programs like drug rehabilitation and community service. It is important to know that if you accept a plea bargain, you are admitting guilt and giving up your rights to a trial.

Who Represents the Defendant During Pretrial Motions?

During pretrial motions, either the defendant's attorney or the prosecuting attorney will present arguments in favor of their respective parties. The attorneys must present evidence before the judge to support their arguments. After both attorneys have presented their cases, the judge will render a decision. If the motion is denied, then the trial process can continue as planned. If it is accepted, then the trial may move forward with changed circumstances that reflect the motion's results.

Does the Defense Get Access to Relevant Evidence?

Yes, the defendant's attorneys will have access to relevant evidence before the trial. After an arrest is made in Douglas County, police are required to provide the court with all evidence related to the case. During pretrial procedures, defense attorneys can review the evidence and prepare their legal arguments accordingly. If any evidence was collected unlawfully, then defense attorneys have the right to file motions blocking this illegal or unconstitutional material from being used during trial.

Are Defendants Allowed to Testify at Pretrial Hearings?

Generally, no. In Douglas County, the pretrial process is separate from the main trial proceedings. During pretrial hearings and procedures, defendants are not allowed to testify or present arguments in the context of these proceedings. This means that a defendant's plea bargain will be accepted or denied without the person's input. This is because it is intended to be a legal proceeding between attorneys and judges rather than a full-fledged trial.

What Happens After An Arrest?