Steps of a Criminal Case

This is a list of the steps of a criminal case.  This is just a general overview and each case is different.  If you have further questions call the Linn County Attorney’s Office and ask to speak with the Victim/Witness Coordinator assigned to your case 319-892-6350.

  1. Crime occurs
  2. Crime reported to law enforcement
  3. Arrest of suspect or warrant is issued
  4. Charges filed by the Linn County Attorney’s Office
  5. Victim Packet mailed to victim
  6. Defendant placed on bond, or released from jail on their own recognizance, or placed on pre-trial supervision with the Department of Corrections
  7. Trial Information (also known as an indictment) filed by the Linn County Attorney’s Office
  8. Arraignment and defendant enters a Not Guilty plea
  9. Discovery (copies of police reports are given to defense attorney)
    • Depositions of victim and witnesses 
  10. Case Management Conference
    • If defendant pleads guilty, the jury trial is cancelled 
    • If defendant pleads not guilty, the jury trial is held
      • If defendant is found Not Guilty by the jury they are acquitted of charges and case is closed
  11. Sentencing Hearing after the defendant has pled guilty or they were found guilty at trial
    • Victim can make a Victim Impact Statement to the Judge during the sentencing hearing
  12. Case is closed