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Learn More About The Arkansas Criminal Process

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, it is critical to understand the stages involved in the Arkansas criminal process.

This information can help you prepare for the series of events that may determine how a criminal matter affects your future and your rights.

Charged and confused about your next steps? Connect with me, Wesley Rhodes, today. I offer free criminal case reviews to residents of Little Rock and surrounding communities.

The Stages Involved In A Criminal Case

Since no two criminal cases are exactly the same, the criminal process may be different according to the factors of the case. In a typical case, these are the stages involved in the process:

Investigation Phase

During this stage, police officers respond to allegations of a crime. They gather information from the alleged victim and witnesses. They investigate the location where the alleged crime occurred, collecting evidence and recording this information on an initial report.

If the police observe a crime taking place or if the charges are obvious, police officers may skip the investigation phase and move to the arrest phase.

Arrest And Booking Phase

Individuals accused of committing a crime, known as defendants, may be arrested for probable cause, which means that the police officer does not need a warrant to arrest or search an individual. An individual may also be arrested on a warrant.

When the defendant is taken into police custody and booked, he or she will be processed and put into a holding cell. After a defendant is booked, he or she may be released from jail by posting bail.


The defendant hears the charges the prosecuting attorney has filed during the arraignment stage. It is the prosecuting attorney’s job to determine which charges a person should face.

At this time, the defendant can choose to plead guilty or not guilty or can choose not to challenge the charges. If the defendant pleads guilty or decides not to challenge the criminal charges, the judge will sentence the defendant.

Pretrial Phase

If the defendant pleads not guilty, he or she will participate in a pretrial hearing. The prosecuting attorney and the defendant may negotiate a plea arrangement at this point. The pretrial hearings are also used to determine which evidence can be presented during the trial and to negotiate a lower bond if the defendant has not been released from jail.

Trial Phase

The prosecution presents its case against the defendant during the trial phase. If a judge decides the outcome of a case, this type of trial is called a bench trial. If a jury decides the outcome, it is called a jury trial.


If the judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, the defendant’s sentence will be determined after the trial has ended.

I Can Help You Navigate This Complex Process

As you can see, there are many steps built into the criminal process. Navigating these steps alone can be overwhelming and time-consuming. When you work with me, criminal defense lawyer Wesley Rhodes, I will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process and will submit all paperwork in a timely manner on your behalf.

I have extensive experience with all aspects of the criminal process so you can rest assured that I will handle your case efficiently. It is my goal that you resolve your criminal legal matters as quickly and effectively as possible.

Contact Wesley Rhodes, Attorney At Law, For Help With Your Case

You can easily reach my Little Rock firm online or at 501-301-4591. Time is critical when you have been accused of committing a crime. Get attentive legal representation to help you defend against charges or determine your eligibility for parole.