Many people think of criminal charges as something that only comes when police officers see the crime being committed. This is one way that this might occur, but it is far from the only way.
In some cases, criminal charges are brought as the result of a criminal investigation. This is what usually happens on shows like "First 48" and similar shows. Detectives work to gather evidence and determine who is a suspect in the crime. This can happen quickly but it might take considerable time.
Evidence gathered may be presented to a grand jury to determine whether criminal charges are warranted or not. This might lead to an indictment, which the prosecution can either follow or set aside.
Another way that criminal charges might come is through the information. This is a document that a prosecutor prepares and presents to the court. This can lead to a criminal case if probable cause is found in the case.
No matter how a person ends up having to face criminal charges, each defendant must make sure that he or she understands the criminal justice process. Throughout the case, defendants will have decisions to make. The choices that come can have a big impact on the outcome of the case.
As part of a defense strategy, the evidence in the case should be reviewed. You might find that there are options that obviously aren't the best as you do this. As a defendant, you should make sure that you are playing an active role in your case. You are the only person who can decide how you want to handle your defense.
Source: FindLaw, "How Are Criminal Charges Brought Against Someone?," accessed Oct. 20, 2017