Commencement of a Criminal Case in New York A criminal case is commenced when an accusatory instrument is filed with a criminal court. An accusatory instrument can be: Criminal Procedure Law (100.05), Information, Simplified Information, Prosecutor's Information, Misdemeanor Complaint or a Felony Complaint.

The Court system has several ways of securing a person's appearance in court after the commencement of a criminal action against him or her, including an Arrest Warrant, an Appearance Ticket, a criminal summons, and simplified information. An Arrest Warrant is a warrant issued by a local criminal court directing local law enforcement to arrest a defendant designated in an accusatory instrument filed with the court and bring him/her before such court. The Court may also use a Bench Warrant, which is a document issued by a City Court Judge that will bring the defendant to court without unnecessary delay. A Bench Warrant may be executed in the county of issuance or any adjoining countyA criminal action is brought by the government against an individual or a corporation. A person is arrested upon commencement of a criminal action and upon his or her arrest he or she becomes a "defendant" in the criminal justice system. A criminal case may also start when a person learns that he or she is the subject of an ongoing investigation. An investigation often leads to an arrest.

In New York there are several federal and local agencies with power to arrest individuals and bring them before the court. If an individual has been arrested by a state or local agency such as the city police, he or she will be brought to a state court. A criminal case in New York City usually begins in New York City Criminal Court. If an individual is arrested by a Federal agency such as the FBI, he or she will be brought to Federal Court.





The criminal process can be complex and confusing. But it's important to know your legal rights. The best way to be informed is to contact a New Jersey criminal attorney in your area as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney will understand the law as it relates to the crime you've been charged with, and will be able to help you in making informed decisions as your case moves through the process.