The Trial Process
This paper is being submitted on March 4, 2014, for Callie Kidder Lacy’s J100 Introduction to Criminal Justice course.
The Trial Process
The law deals with two kinds of cases. Civil cases that involve conflicts between people or businesses matters. A civil case usually begins when a person or organization determines that a problem can’t be solved without the intervention of the courts. In civil cases, a person files a complaint in court, which begins the stage of a lawsuit. Criminal cases involves enforcing public codes of behavior as embodied in the laws, with the government prosecuting individuals or institutions. In a criminal case, the government brings charges against the person alleged to have committed the crime. With both cases, each of them have a process to how a trail starts from beginning to end. Let’s take a look on how the criminal trial process beings. Before entering into the court room depending on the specific facts of the case, the first step is to make an arrest. If police have probable cause “a set of facts and circumstances that is led to believe a particular person has committed a crime”. (Schmalleger,2012,p.397) they will go ahead and make an arrest. After and arrest has been made, the suspect or the accused must make a “First Appearance”. Which then the accused is then brought before a judge “a public official who presides over a court of law”. (Schmalleger,2012,p.395) who then will tell the accused a list of charges that have been brought against him and will tell him/her of her rights and may give them option of bail. After and arrest is made some investigating needs to be done. In the United States we have the Federal Government which have their own agencies that employ criminal investigators. Which there job is to collect and provide information and evidence to the United States Attorneys in the district the case is taking place. Some of the agencies that the Government provides during investigation are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigation (DHS/HSI) or even United States Secret Service (USSS).These agencies investigate the crime and obtain evidence, and help give prosecutors a better understanding and give them great details of the case they are working on. The prosecutor which is “an attorney whose official duty is to conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the state or the people against those accused of having committed criminal offenses” (Schmalleger,2012,p.398) have the opportunity work with agencies that are involved in the case. After obtaining evidence that is needed to use in the criminal case against the person that was arrested the charging phase begins. After the prosecutor studies the information that he/she was given by the investigators, and the information he/she gathered he/she decides whether to present the case to a “Preliminary Hearing”. The preliminary hearing “is to establish whether sufficient evidence exists against a person to continue the justice process”. (Schmalleger,2012,p.12) This gives the prosecutor and opportunity to test how strong his/her evidence is in a court of law. He/she then presents the evidence to the grand jury. The grand jury is “a group of jurors who have been selected according to law and have been sworn to hear evidence and to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the accused to trail”. (Schmalleger,2012,p.394) The group of jurors then listen and looks at all of the evidence that have been obtain during the investigation against the accused. After listing to a long court case they then will be taken to a private room escorted by a court officer, where then they will make their decision on whether the accused should be indicted. After reaching a decision based upon evidence that was provided to them. They came to a decision that the accused should in fact be to indicted, however if...
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