The 9 Steps of the

Criminal Justice System

Crime Occurs

A crime is committed.

Investigation and Arrest or Citation

Suspect is arrested and Mirandized.

Initial Apperance

The court considers the severity of the charge, criminal and employment history, and if you pose any danger to the community. The bail for the suspect is set.

Preliminary Hearing or Trial Information

The court goes over evidence.

Arraignment and Plea

The defendant pleas guilty or not guilty.

Discovery and Plea Negotiations

If the defendant pleas guilty then they're given a subpoena.


The case goes to trial.


The defendant has to pay a fine or pay restitution.


The defendant can appeal and request a new trial.