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What’s the difference between charged and convicted?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Gun Crimes

If you find yourself confused by the vocabulary around criminal law, you are not alone. Crime is everywhere in news, television, podcasts, streaming and many times words are thrown around out of context. A recent local case shows how people enter the criminal justice system process. It is important to note that everyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

A local case in initial stages

According to local news, a young resident allegedly discharged a weapon on the highway, hitting another driver. The man faces several different charges in relation to his alleged actions that day, like aggravated battery and unlawful carrying of a firearm. When facing misdemeanor charges, felony charges or both, it is important to remember that charged is not the same as convicted.

Steps between charges and conviction

Indictments or charges are assertions from the government body that a person has committed a crime. Charges have the potential to be dropped, changed or prosecuted. In other words, charges sometimes lead to convictions, and sometimes do not. A conviction means the legal system has determined the person is guilty of the charged wrongdoing.

Beyond convictions

If you are charged with a crime in Indiana, the prosecuting body has a duty to prove their case. Not all charges lead to convictions, and you always maintain rights. You have options with criminal charges like plea deals or requesting a trial where you can present a defense. You must assert your rights. And, remember that conviction is not the final stop. There are appeals and expungements.