The criminal justice system begins with a report that a crime has occurred. A Law enforcement investigation of a crime may begin in a number of ways. For instance, an officer may arrive to a crime scene to determine the motive of the crime. During an officer’s investigation, they may cross-examine witnesses and potential suspects to further their case. If an investigating officer acquires a sufficient amount of evidence at a particular location, they may make an effort to obtain a search warrant allowing them to search a suspect’s premises (with a Judges’ approval).
After the arrest of a suspect, Law enforcement officials will be granted 24 to 48 hours (Depending on the State) to charge the individual or release them from custody. Once a suspect is convicted of an offense, the defendant will be ordered to appear in court at which time he or she will be given the opportunity to make bail. If the defendant does not have the financial means to pay for a lawyer, the courts will assign a public defender. A preliminary hearing is required prior to trial if a defendant is charged with a felony. At this time, prosecutors are obliged to present and prove that there is an adequate amount of evidence to declare a trial. Concluding a preliminary hearing, a Judge will declare a trial provided there is a sufficient amount of evidence.
Subsequent to a preliminary hearing, the following court appearance is an arraignment. Arraignments may commence immediately following a preliminary hearing or may be rescheduled for a future date. During an arraignment a defendant is given the opportunity to plead “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. If a defendant pleads guilty to charges, said defendant will be given a sentencing date.
A pre trial is a plea negotiation opening for both a defendant and prosecutor. It can be a window for both parties to discuss the permissibility of evidence. Once a trial commences it is the prosecutor’s duty to convict a defendant without any...
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