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Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer: Iowa Prosecutions and What You Should Know

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC

​​Many defendants and their loved ones believe prosecution begins with arrest. Though arrests usually result in prosecutions, they do not technically signal the beginning of criminal proceedings against a criminal defendant in a Cedar Rapids prosecution.


In fact, criminal prosecutions in the State of Iowa must be brought by duly elected county attorneys and their designees who are lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa courts. Such prosecutors review the evidence and determine whether a violation has occurred based on the criminal code and the application of the law to the facts.


Police must generally understand these laws and are empowered to undertake arrests in our society. However, police must convey facts to a prosecutor who drafts legal documents in anticipation of prosecution and for approval by a judge to initiate and prosecute a criminal lawsuit against a defendant.


This prosecution is generally undertaken by indictment. A defendant must answer to the charge during arraignment. Following arraignment, defendants may conduct discovery  and challenge evidence in pretrial motions, if necessary and applicable.


Following discovery and any pretrial motion hearings, a judge convenes a hearing, often called a pretrial hearing, and more recently, a case management conference, to determine what issues remain before the Court before a tentatively scheduled jury trial.


If the parties agree on a resolution, a jury trial never occurs and the matter is concluded. If the parties cannot agree, the matter proceeds to trial.


The process takes two to three months in most misdemeanor cases barring unforeseen delays, or, continuances. Felonies can take longer but note a push is on to conclude criminal matters more quickly than has occurred in the past.


If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC.


However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to a lawyer over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


The Law ​criminal prosecution is the stage following investigation, arrest, and then indictment. The Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure apply to criminal proceedings in Iowa state courts. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact us for a free initial consultation today at 319-389-1889.

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