How Does a Criminal Proceeding Work? Our Nashville Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain

Nashville Criminal Defense LawyersCriminal court procedures vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but there is a basic sequence of events that will apply to almost all criminal proceedings. This process can be quite complex. As such, you should seek advice from a qualified Nashville criminal attorney right away.

Pre-trial Proceedings

After your arrest, you will make your first appearance before the judge. You will be told the charges against you and advised of your rights. The judge will likely schedule a future date for a preliminary hearing. As soon as possible after your arrest you should consult with a Nashville criminal defense lawyer.

At the preliminary hearing the judge will determine if there is probable cause to try you for the crime. In other words, the judge will decide whether the facts establish that a crime has been committed and that you committed the crime. Unless your case is dismissed for lack of probable cause, you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

If you plead guilty the judge will most likely set a future date for sentencing. If your plea is “not guilty,” the judge will set a trial date. In the meantime, you may be released on bail or released on your own recognizance. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, you may be sent back to jail to await your trial date. For obvious reasons, it is in your best interest to avoid pleading guilty. A skilled Nashville criminal defense lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and make a determination as to your best course of action.

During Trial

If your case is going to trial, the prosecution will pull out all of the stops to get a conviction and we will help you fight back. Attorney Brent Horst will try to seat the best jury possible and vigorously cross examine the prosecutor’s witness. After that we will present your defense case to the jury and deliver a powerful closing argument to convince the jury of your innocence. 

Hire an Experienced Nashville Criminal Attorney

Regardless of what stage your case is at or whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, we can help. Horst Law may be reached at for a consultation.