Do the Crime ... Pay the Time

Things you should know..

What happens first... after you choose to commit a crime

  • Arrest: a person is taken into custody for the police. They have been accused of committing a crime.
  • Bail: money that is paid so that a person who has been arrested can be released from custody. You are paying money and signing an agreement stating that you will return at the scheduled time,
  • Felony: a felony offense is a serious crime. A felony crime can a murder, burglary or rape. This level of crime requires a longer sentence for jail.
  • Misdemeanor: a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony. If you are accused of a misdemeanor you may be able to pay a fine and will probably spend less than a year in jail.

Off to Court

What happens now that you have been arrested for a crime.

Once you are arrested for a crime - you are subject to the following:

  • Grand Jury - a grand jury is a group of people who have been assigned to sit and decide whether or not a case has enough evidence to go to trial. A grand jury may request documents and sworn testimonies of witness to appear before it. A grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its function to operate.(www.criminal.findlaw.com)
  • Indictment - this is issued when a person is formally charged with committing a crime. It is used when someone is charged with a felony.
  • Subpoena - is a written order that is issued to a person. Its purpose is to notify a person that they must come to court. If you are issued a subpoena and don't appear at court when requested you can be arrested.
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Off to Trial we go.. there is evidence to move forward with your crime.

  • Public Defender: this type of lawyer is hired to represent the accused person and is paid by the public. You will be given one if you don't have the money to pay for your own.
  • Arraignment: An arraignment is the first part of the court case. It happens in the courtroom in front of a judge. The reason for the arraignment is to provide you information of the crime you are charged with. This is a requirement of the 6th Amendment. (www.uscourts.gov)
  • Plea Bargaining: an arrangement between a prosecutor and a defendant to get the charges reduced to a lower charge. The defendant has to plead guilty in order to get the court to consider the deal. (www.americanbar.org)
  • Defendant: is the person/company who is being sued or accused of a crime in a court of law.
  • Prosecution: this is the lawyer that will be trying to prove you are guilty of committing the crime you have been charged with.
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Court in action...

Perjury: this is what happens when you tell a lie in court after being sworn in on the stand. You can be prosecuted for perjury.


Judge:

a public official appointed to decide cases in a court of law.

Verdict:

a decision that the jury or judge makes when deciding a court case.

Acquitted:

you are free to go. the accused has been found not guilty.


Convicted:

you are remanded to jail. the accused has been found guilty in a court of law. You will either pay a fine, serve time or both. When you are convicted of a crime this information stays on your record.


Appeal:

this is a request made by the convicted person to have a higher court review and make a new decision regarding the conviction. The appeal is usually filed when the accused thinks they have been wrong or falsely convicted. (www.uscourts.gov)

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