Criminal Justice Flowchart

In 9 Easy Steps

1. Crime Committed

Someone has committed an act that is against criminal law (penal code) in Iowa.
Big image

2. Investigation/Arrest

Law enforcement will search for evidence or ask eyewitnesses what happened (their testimony)

If there is already enough evidence for the officers to suspect someone, they can arrest that person

-An arrested suspect will be detained in a local jail, but they still have the right to a lawyer

Big image

3. Initial Appearance

- Suspect appears before a judge to ensure the claims against them are possible, and a lawyer is appointed, as well as a bail charge set
Big image

4. Trial Information/ Preliminary Hearing

- Usually a trial information is collected, which makes sure there is enough information for a fair trial to occur

- There is sometimes a preliminary hearing, which is just another court appearance which does the same thing as the trial information

Big image

5. Arraignment and Plea

-The defendant can plea guilty or not guilty, depending on the strength of their case and the severity of the crime committed

- People usually plea not guilty, but if they plea guilty, they will go straight to their sentence (#7)

Big image

6. Discovery and Plea Negotiations

- The defendant's attorney will begin to gather evidence for their client's case, and can also look at the evidence of the prosecution, which is gathered by the state

- If their case doesn't look to be in their favor, the defendant can choose to plead guilty

Big image

7. Trial

- The defendant faces a trial by jury of peers, where evidence for or against them is presented, and the jury decides on a verdict of guilty or not guilty

-If found not guilty, the defendant is acquitted, or released

Big image

8. Sentence

- If the defendant is found guilty, they are given a punishment by the judge and the severity of the punishment is dependent on the severity of their crime

- The sentence may include prison time, probation time, community service, restitution for any victims, or a number of other punishments

Big image

9. Appeal

- If the defendant thinks they were tried unfairly or want another chance to prove their case or reduce their sentence, they can have their case considered for re-trial in an appellate court
Big image