inner-background-image

Always a defense attorney,
NEVER a prosecutor

MY PRACTICE IS DEVOTED TO THE DEFENSE OF CRIMINAL
CASES THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF FLORIDA

person-image
What is a Criminal Complaint?
Posted by: Thomas Grajek  | On 28th July, 2015

A criminal charge involves a criminal complaint, or an “accusatory instrument,” which is the papers filed that accuse someone of committing a crime.

There are two delineating criteria factored into considering if a criminal complaint is to be used in a case. One factor looks at whether state or federal laws were broken, which usually determines what court a trial may be held in. Another depends on the nature of the crime and whether it constitutes a serious felony or a less serious misdemeanor. Since different jurisdictions with differing rules and regulations may be involved, it is vitally important to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to determine how to proceed, should you be charged criminally.

An accusatory instrument/criminal complaint (initially laid by the police) eventually wends its way to a prosecutor. This instrument, or charge, is the beginning of a criminal prosecution or trial. The charge, or papers that constitute the charge, are filed in court and contain the details of the crime and the individuals that allegedly committed the crime. However, this does not happen in every criminal case or in every court.

A criminal complaint may be filed either before or after an accused is arrested. A complaint filed in advance of someone being arrested states that a crime was committed (usually referred to as a warrant that shows probable cause), what that crime was, what law was broken, etc., and that the named individual in the complaint is the one who did the deed. If a judge agrees with the complaint as filed, one of two things happen: the named individual is sent a summons with information on when and where to appear in court, or they are arrested.

Criminal complaints, federally or at the state level, do have several things in common. An example is a detailed, written list of what criminal charges may be filed. Appended to the list are specific facts and details pertaining to the case — facts that outline the crime an individual may be facing. Case facts tend to dictate which law or state or federal statute the alleged perpetrator is accused of breaking. Before filing a criminal complaint, the prosecutor must swear an oath that the complaint, as set out, is accurate and truthful.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor the U.S. prosecutor may or may not file a complaint. Federal misdemeanors are those with jail terms of a year or less, a fine or both. These cases typically go straight to trial and do not require a grand jury indictment.

Not all people who commit crimes have a criminal complaint filed against them. That is optional on the part of the U.S. prosecutor dealing with the case. It depends on whether a state or federal law was violated, how serious the crime is and whether it is a federal felony or a misdemeanor. Federal felonies (usually punishable by a prison sentence of more than a year or death) are far more serious than misdemeanors, but in order for the federal prosecutor to take an accused to trial for a felony, a grand jury indictment is required under the auspices of the Fifth Amendment.

State rules are entirely different from federal rules and for this reason anyone trying to navigate the criminal justice system on their own is likely to find themselves in need of help. If you are facing criminal charges at the state or federal level, reach out and connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The rest of your life depends on it.

Tags: felony Fifth Amendment misdemeanor warrant

28

Jul 2015

Tue

comments are closed

Lakeland

112 E Poinsettia St Lakeland, FL, 33803

(863) 688-4606

Tampa

4107 N. Himes Ave #200 Tampa, FL, 33607

(813) 789-6404

Lutz

24140 FL-54 #101e Lutz, FL, 33559

(727) 457-8660

Testimonials

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

After my husbands DUI, I met with a couple of lawyers but NONE were as attentive as Thomas Grajek. Thomas was able to beat the DUI charge that I thought would be impossible. Not only did he save us money, he also helped put our lives back. I would recommend Mr. Grajek to anyone in our situation. Thsnkd Tom!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Excellent Attorney....called this attorney on a Saturday. He was quick to call me back and even gave me free advice as to how to handle the situation we were in. We ended up hiring him best decision we made. Would recommend this attorney to anyone.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Got a DUI a few months ago and got Toms name from a friend of mine.. I am more then satisfied with the way he handled my case and the way he kept me informed the whole time.. I got off on reckless with a with hold which i am more then happy to have on my record then a dui... He's a very down to earth guy and definitely trys to relate to where ur comin from.. I would with no doubt recommend Tom to friends and family... Thanks Tom ur the best!!!!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Great DUI Lawyer!! He got my DUI dropped to a reckless driving charge!! definitely went above and beyond for my case!!!He is very easily accessible and always promptly returned my phone calls/emails.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

I have just moved to the Tampa area. I was intoduced to Tom after being arrested for a DUI. Within minutes of being bonded out Tom came to my place of employment with all needed documents to "get the ball rolling". He always kept me informed on my case and when the time came for my hearing, I plead guilty to wreckless and had no fines and very little commuity service. Thomas Grajek is a great attorney and I feel he would be a valuable assett in anyone's defense.