Justice System Procedure

9 Key Steps

1 - Crime Occurs

Defendent commits a crime
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2 - Investigation and Arrest

Police gather enough evidence to arrest you. Once you are arrested, you are read your Miranda Rights.
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3 - Initial Appearance

Judge decides whether the charges are accurate and sets the bail amount
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4 - Preliminary Hearing or Trial Information

The state presents evidence against you during the Preliminary Hearing. Often times, the preliminary hearing is skipped when the trial information sheet is filled out.
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5 - Arraignment and Plea

Defendant decides whether to plea guilty or not guilty.
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6 - Discovery and Plea Negotiations

Evidence is gathered by the prosecution during this step. Lawyers get together to discuss plea negotiations. Defendant has another chance to plea guilty.
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7 - Trial

This step is skipped if defendant pleas guilty. The case goes to court and is hear by an unbiased jury. Jury decides whether defendant is guilty or not guilty.
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8 - Sentencing

If found guilty, the length and terms of defendants sentence are declared in this step. This includes things like sentence length, restitution, lost wages, probation, etc.
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9 - Appeal

If sentenced to jail, defendant may file for appeal. If defendant is once again found guilty then they are going back to jail. If defendant is found not guilty in appeals court, then defendant is set free.
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