What if charges are filed?

If the accused is arrested and charges are filed, he or she will soon appear in court for a first appearance. The judge will set a bond and advise the accused, known as the defendant, of the charge(s) against him or her. The defendant will be advised of his or her constitutional rights. In traffic and misdemeanor cases, the cause will be continued for trial or plea. In felony offenses, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled, usually for a date within thirty days after the first appearance.

Victims will be notified of the charges being filed and what has happened in court by the State's Attorney's Victim Assistant. Victims and witnesses need not be present at the first appearance.

Most defendants post bond and are released from custody pending further proceedings. Those who are unable to post bond, remain in custody.

Show All Answers

1. What should I do if I am a victim of a crime?
2. How does the state's attorney's office decide whether to file charges?
3. What if charges are filed?
4. When will I be called to appear as a witness?
5. Will there always be a trial?
6. Are all trials by jury?
7. What happens after a defendant is convicted at trial or pleads guilty?
8. Do I need an attorney?
9. How will I be notified about the case?
10. Will I have to take off from work to appear in court?
11. How will I get to the courthouse in Whiteside?
12. What if I am threatened in connection with the case?
13. What if the defense attorney or the defendant contacts me about the case?
14. How do I get items held as evidence returned to me?
15. Will I receive restitution or compensation for property loss and injuries?
16. Will I be notified of what happens to the defendant in a case where I am the victim?
17. What if I need more information or a question answered?