The Pre Trial Process

Topics: United States Constitution, Jury, Grand jury Pages: 5 (1603 words) Published: September 6, 2010
Running Head: The Pre Trial Process

After a suspect is arrested and officially charged with a crime, he or she becomes a criminal defendant (Zalman, 2008). This step is significant in the criminal justice process because it brings several new sets of rules into play related to the defendant’s trial. Before a criminal defendant can be tried however, a number of milestones must be met and several obligatory processes must be completed. These procedures are designed to ensure that a fair trial takes place (Zalman, 2008). As criminal justice professionals must work in the medium of truth in their day to day activities in order to maintain their ethical and professional integrity, understanding the pre trial process is vital. Pre Trial Detention and Bail

Pre-trial detention center are facilities that house all classifications of inmates. Pre-trial detention centers are in charge of keeping those suspected of a crime in custody when bail is revoked by a judge or a magistrate. Detention centers have a wide variety of inmate classification. The classification can range from traffic violations to those who have committed a capital crime. Some or most inmates will be given bail that must be paid in order for the inmate to leave the jail during the trial process. Bail is given to those people who would likely come back to later court proceedings. Bail takes place for offenders that are not seen as a flight risk. Right to a preliminary examination

Every individual has the right to a preliminary examination. A preliminary examination is also called a preliminary hearing. The right to a preliminary examination is made up of different sections of Amendments to the United States Constitution. The preliminary examination is a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause justifying sending a case to trial. During this hearing a defendant accused of committing a crime has the right of a trial by jury. A defendant has a right to remain silent and this cannot be used against him. No person can be forced to testify against themselves. A defendant has the right to testify and to present evidence including witnesses to testify on his behalf. A defendant also has the right during a preliminary examination to confront and cross-examine witnesses. These different rights are covered by The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 5, U.S. Const. am. 6, U.S. Const. am. 8, U.S. Const. am 14. Mount (2001) states a defendant’s rights to a preliminary examination are covered as follows: “The Fifth Amendment states- No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury. The Sixth Amendment states- To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. The Eighth Amendment states- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. The Fourteenth Amendment states- No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (para. 10) By combining the different Amendments a defendant has a right to a preliminary examination. Role of the Grand Jury

For federal criminal charges the Fifth Amendment requires an indictment from a grand jury. The role of the Grand Jury is to see and hear the evidence presented by the prosecutor and determine if there is probable cause to issue an indictment. The grand jury only has to determine probable cause so there is no need for the prosecutor to present all the evidence or even conflicting evidence. The prosecutor just needs to show...

References: Brady v. Maryland. (n.d.) (2010). Retrieved August 30 2010 from
King, J.(1999). Twisted Justice: Prosecution Function in America Out of Control. The Champion
Leipold, Andrew D.(2002)
Retrieved August 28, 2010 from:
Mount, S
2010, from
Zalman, M. (2008)
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