Steps of Criminal Justice System

Maddy Burnham

What happens first??

After a crime is commited, police decide if there is enough evidence to issue a warrent. If there is not then they continue the investigation until there is enough evidence to issue a warrent. If there never is enough evidence found, then the suspect is sent home.                                                                                         

What happens after a warrant?

After someone is arrested it is decided if they are indigent (In need of a provided attorney.) Once the suspect has an attorney they are booked  until there intitial appearance.

Initial Appearance

After the initial appeareance three things can happen. If no bail is posted the suspect goes to jail. If a bail is posted the suspect can either pay it and go home, or not pay it and proceed to the prelimiary hearing.

Preliminary Hearing

At the preliminary hearing, if there is enough evidence then there is the arraignment where the suspect pleads guilty of not guilty. if there is not enough evidence then the case is called off. If the suspect pleads guilty, then he is given a sentence and put in jail, and given the chance to appeal (to request a change to the sentence.) If the suspect pleads not guilty then a trial date is set.


After the trial date is set the defense attorney can "discover" (interview witnesses and view documents with evidence.) Then at the trial the judge decides if the suspect is guilty or not guilty. If he is not guilty he is free to go home, but if he is guilty then he recieves a sentence and can appeal it if he wishes.