A criminal case is a type of court proceeding in which the defendant is tried for conduct that is considered to be illegal according to the state’s legislature, or the government. Criminal cases generally begin after the person is arrested and informed of their charges, usually at a hearing known as an indictment. In regards to criminal cases, the defendant is always considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a state prosecutor.
Most criminal cases are tried by a judge in the presence of a jury, and may result in sentences under criminal law. Such sentences could include jail time as well as fines.