At the beginning of a federal criminal case, the principal actors are the US Attorney (the prosecutor) and the grand jury. The U.S. Attorney represents the United States in most court proceedings, including all criminal prosecutions. The grand jury reviews evidence presented by the U.S. Attorney and decides whether it is sufficient to require a defendant to stand trial.
If you are indicted, you may not find out until the US Marshals come to your house to arrest you. Often there is a “take down” day when all the defendants in a case are arrested and brought to court for an initial appearance. Unlike in state court, bond is not going to be set while you wait in jail. Instead, you will appear before a magistrate who will make the decision as to whether you will be detained pending trial. The District of Kansas US Probation and Pretrial Services has an excellent website with information I highly recommend you read if you or a loved one has just been indicted. The first covers the “Role of Pretrial Services” (found under the “About Probation” tab) and the second covers the “Pretrial Orientation Program” (found under the “Client Services” tab). If you are released pending trial, your attorney and Pretrial Services will review the conditions of your release with you. If you are detained pending trial in Kansas City, Kansas, you will most likely be held at CCA in Leavenworth.
If you are being prosecuted in federal court, it is very important to understand howe Federal Sentencing Guidelines impact your case. Here's an excellent summary of Federal Sentencing for attorneys titled “Introduction to Federal Sentencing” written by a couple federal public defenders.
If you want to look up the crime you have been charged with there are several websites that you can use including USA.Gov. Click US Code to find a particular federal law. To look up a particular charge, e.g., “Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Substance”, type in “21” in the box labeled “Title” and “841” in the box labeled “Section” and then select “Search”.
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Mailing Address: Clarke Law Office, 1441 Wakarusa Drive, Suite 200, Lawrence, KS 66049
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