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Criminal trial process in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If you’re preparing to go to trial in the state of Tennessee, it’s important to know about the trial process so you’ll know what to expect. Keep in mind that every case is different and the trial process will change based on several factors such as when a defendant is arrested, when the crime was reported, and the situation of the plaintiff and defendant. When you know the basics of criminal law, you can better prepare for your case.

Arrest warrant and bail/bond hearing

In criminal law, a warrant is a written order from a judge determining a person should be arrested. The information in the warrant is used to justify the warrant.

When the defendant is arrested, the court often holds a bail/bond hearing to determine if the defendant should go to the local jail until the trial is over or be released on bail. Not all cases include a bail/bond hearing.

Preliminary hearing

The criminal law process also involves a probable cause or preliminary hearing which is held in General Sessions court. This hearing helps to determine if a crime was actually committed and whether the defendant committed the crime. The victim is not required to attend the hearing but can attend all hearings where the defendant is present if the victim chooses to do so.

The decision from the court

Criminal law dictates that if the court determines that there is reason to believe the defendant has committed a misdemeanor crime, the case will go to a plea hearing. If the court finds that there is reason to believe a felony crime was committed by the defendant, the case then goes to a grand jury.