UILT OR INNOCENCE. Ultimately your case will be decided by a guilty plea or a trial.
If you have reached a plea agreement with the prosecutor that you want to accept, you will then have a guilty plea hearing. At that hearing, the Judge will ask questions of your, your lawyer and the prosecutor to make sure that your guilty plea is knowing and voluntary (that you know what you’re agreeing to and you’re doing it of your own free will). The Judge will then ask you questions about what you are guilty of doing. If the Judge believes you are pleading guilty of your own free will and that you are really guilty of committing that crime, then the Judge will accept your agreement with the prosecutor and will “convict” you of the crime.
On the other hand, if you decide to stand on your innocence and make the State prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you will have a trial. This will be a trial by Judge or by jury, depending on the decision you and your lawyer made earlier in the case. The trial is the stage where witnesses are called and documents and other evidence is presented by the Prosecutor. You and your attorney will have the right to ask questions and present contradictory evidence. Then the Judge or the jury till decide if you are guilty or innocent of the crimes you are accused of committing. If you are found guilty, the Judge will then enter a “conviction” for the crimes for which you are found guilty.
If you are found “not guilty” or “innocent” of the crimes, then this is the end of the process for you. You will be released from any pretrial confinement or terms of pretrial release. If you have posted a cash bond, it will be returned to you or the ones who posted it for you. You will be free to live your life as you did before this process began.
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Helfrich Law Offices is a full service law firm with two locations to serve our clients in Hancock County, Hendricks County and throughout Central Indiana. We have over 20 years experience practicing before Indiana trial and appellate courts, handling cases involving all areas of law, including family law, adoptions and guardianships, small business law, criminal matters, estate planning, probate, contracts, real estate, small claims, collection, banking, and civil litigation. We also offer mediation services. Call us to discuss how we can serve you, your family and your business.