The CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

by Nick Nucci

A crime has been committed.

Investigation

If the culprit is not detained at the scene of the crime then a crime scene investigation will come into play, this happens most of the time due to the fact the culprit usually runs away from the crime scene after committing the crime. they will continue to investigate until they believe they have sufficient evidence to charge the suspect.

The arrest

Once a suspect has been pointed out and all the evidence comes together then that prime suspect will be arrested and sent to to see the judge.

Initial Appearence

Once the suspect has been put in custody the police must put him or her in front of a judge within a day of the suspect being detained. An appearance assures the individual was properly charged. An attorney is then appointed to the defendant and a date is set for the preliminary hearing.

Preliminary hearing

A preliminary hearing is held to be sure that enough sufficient evidence was collected to support the charges against the defendant.

Arraignment

The accusation of the defendant where a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered, the defendant does need to be present if a written arraignment is filed on their behalf.

Trial

If the plea negotiations are not successful then the case goes to trial. Once the jury is chosen and sworn in the trial proceeds, but note that not all trials proceed in the same manner.

Sentencing

Victims and witnesses have the right to attend the sentencing hearing. The court may order the defendant to serve jail time or may suspend the time and place the defendant on probation. Some charges have mandatory sentences that must be served.

Appeal

The defendant has the right to an appeal after sentencing. He or she may have waived the right to appeal certain issues. However, defendants have the right to appeal at least some issues to the appellate court.