With the announcement of our new satellite office located in Fishers, Indiana, today’s blog looks at what will happen if you are arrested in Hamilton County, Indiana, whether it be Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Cicero, Atlanta or any other part of the county.
There are a variety of arrests that are common in these communities. Due to having Klipsch Music Center (formerly known as Verizon Wireless and Deer Creek) a number of the arrests are alcohol or drug-related. In addition to that, police in Carmel, Noblesville, and Fishers are very aggressive in their pursuit of drunk drivers. However, in addition to the substance abuse related crimes, as Carmel and Fishers have experienced rapid growth, more serious crimes like burglary and robbery have become more common place.
If you are arrested on a misdemeanor or a major felony, your case will be routed by the police department to the Hamilton County(Indiana) Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutors office has a few prosecutors that are dedicated to screening the police reports and deciding what if any criminal charges will be filed.
If a misdemeanor is filed against you your case will first land in one of two courts. If you were arrested on a misdemeanor in Carmel, your case will likely go to Carmel City Court. If your misdemeanor case was out of any other city or town, it will go to Hamilton County Court 7, also known as the Magistrate Court. If your case is a major felony case, it will also go to Court 7.
Whether your first hearing is in Carmel City Court or Court 7, it will be what is called an Initial Hearing. If your case is a misdemeanor and you have hired a criminal defense attorney, your attorney can waive the initial hearing so that you don’t have to go to court and potentially avoid missing a day of work. If you do go to your initial hearing, either because you don’t hire an attorney or your case is a major felony, then at that hearing you will be informed of your constitutional rights, informed of your criminal charges and your case will be assigned to a court for a pre-trial conference and possible trial date.
If your case was assigned to Carmel City Court originally, then it will proceed through completion at Carmel City Court, unless your attorney asks for it to be moved to one of the Superior Courts in Noblesville. If your case is a D Felony or Misdemeanor that is not out of Carmel, then your case will be assigned to either Hamilton County Superior Court 4, 5 or 6. Each of these courts handles there cases in slightly different manners and your attorney should be familiar with their procedures. Just as an example, your initial pre-trial conference in Superior Courts 4 and 5 are “informal” which means your attorney can attend the first pre-trial on your behalf. However, in Superior Court 6 all pre-trial conferences are “formal” and in front of the judge so you and your attorney will need to be present for the pre-trial.
If you are charged with a crime that is murder, or a Level 1, 2, or 3 felony, then your case will be assigned to either Superior Courts 1, 2, 3 or Circuit Court. Where your case is assigned is completely random and not something you have any control over. Again, each of these courts have slightly different processes and procedures in how they administer their cases, your attorney should be familiar with those nuances.
Regardless of which court you are in, your case will normally follow a path of pre-trial conference followed by a trial date. If your attorney requests a continuance, then your case will in most instances be set for another set of pre-trial conference and trial dates. If your case is a misdemeanor, it is very important to remember that you must request a jury trial 10 days before the first trial setting. If you fail to make that request, then you automatically waive the right to a jury trial and your case will automatically remain set for a bench trial. This means, if you proceed to trial, your case will be decided by the judge, not a jury. If you are charged with a felony, your case is automatically set for a jury trial.
After your case has been assigned to one of the courts, it will then be assigned to a deputy prosecutor, who will provide discovery(consisting of the police report, charging information, probable cause affidavit, and any other evidence collected) and then your attorney and the prosecutor will begin plea negotiations to see if the case can be resolved without going to trial.
If you are charged with a crime in Hamilton County, Indiana, whether you are arrested in Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel or any other part of the county, you need aggressive representation to protect your rights. The attorneys at Banks & Brower regularly practice in Hamilton County. The firm includes a former Major Felony Prosecutor that worked in the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office in Noblesville. If you have been arrested in Hamilton County Contact Banks & Brower today.