When you are either in prison or jail, you will need support in navigating the criminal justice system. Being convicted for a crime is not as simple as getting arrested for a trial and therefore, here are some of the concepts that will help you to understand the basics of criminal justice.
If you are a suspect of a certain crime, you are required to be charged first before you are convicted of the crime. In other words, the person is formally accused of committing a particular crime. In case you are charged with a crime before you are arrested, the police are required to issue you with a warrant of arrest. This warrant of arrest will be sued by the police to arrest the person once he has been located and the copy of the warrant should clearly state why the person has been arrested. When the arrest is done, the person will stay in jail but not for more than 48 hours. When at this, the prosecutor who is the state’s lawyer will go through the police report to determine whether the person should be charged with a crime.
When the prosecutor has got enough evidence to charge the person, a preliminary hearing is held. Through this hearing, the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to take the defendant to trail and this is based on the evidence provided and the judge also gives the defense lawyer the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s case. In case the case is not dismissed, the suspect will be required to either plead guilty, not guilty or nor consent and based of his choice, the court will decide if the trail will take place or not.
When the suspect pleads not guilty for the crime accused, he or she will have to attend his trial and if they plead guilty of no consent, the court will move forward to sentencing. During the trial, the government has the obligation to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the defendant is indeed guilty of the crime being charged. In other situations, the jury will have to determine the outcome of the trial while in others it is the duty of the judge to do so without a jury. When the aftermath of the trial is guilty, a sentencing hearing will take place and if not guilty, the suspect is realized.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge now takes all the evidence into consideration in order to determine the penalty that the accused will face for the crime. It is also important to know that defendant is also meant to understand all of his or her rights. People accused of crimes have certain rights that gives them the best possible chance to receive a fair outcome during their cases.