Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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What About The Actual Court Process?

Once charged, the judge must advise the suspect, now called the defendant, of the charges at an initial appearance.

Later, the judge holds a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to continue with the prosecution.

In some cases, the prosecutor may offer the defendant the option of a plea agreement, which is a negotiated set of charges in exchange for a lesser sentence. This defendant will then enter a guilty plea and be sentenced at a later date.

In cases that proceed to trial, there will likely be a series of hearings before the trial begins. The victim may be subpoenaed or ordered to attend these hearings. If a victim is not ordered to attend, they have the option of going to hearings if they so desire.

A judge will preside over the trial, usually with a jury and decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

Reporting elder abuse is important. The victim of elder abuse is never alone. From the initial report to the court process, the victim will have someone to help them answer questions, escort them to court hearings, file for restitution and advocate for their rights as a crime victim.

You should keep a copy of information regarding your case.