Misdemeanor Case

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General anatomy of a misdemeanor case in District Court:

  1. Police investigation by relevant law enforcement agency
  2. Report filed with County Attorney's Office
  3. Review for sufficiency of evidence and charging decision
  4. Misdemeanor charge is filed in District Court
  5. Defendant is served with complaint by way of arrest warrant or summons
  6. First Appearance
    • Reading of charge and range of possible penalties
    • Legal representation
    • Next appearance date
    • Bond
  7. Arraignment
    • Guilty - Move to sentencing
    • Not Guilty - Set for trial
    • No Contest - Move to sentencing
  8. Trial
    • To a judge
    • To a jury of six
    • State bears burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt
    • Defendant may remain silent or present evidence
    • Verdict
      • Guilty
      • Not Guilty
  9. Sentencing