When you are either in prison or jail, you will need support in navigating the criminal justice system. Being convicted for a crime is not as simple as getting arrested for a trial and therefore, here are some of the concepts that will help you to understand the basics of criminal justice.
If you are a suspect of a certain crime, you are required to be charged first before you are convicted of the crime. In other words, the person is formally accused of committing a particular crime. In case you are charged with a crime before you are arrested, the police are required to issue you with a warrant of arrest. This warrant of arrest will be sued by the police to arrest the person once he has been located and the copy of the warrant should clearly state why the person has been arrested. When the arrest is done, the person will stay in jail but not for more than 48 hours. During this time, the prosecutor is will determine whether the person should be charged with a crime or not.
When the prosecutor has got enough evidence to charge the person, a preliminary hearing is held. During this hearing, the judge will now decide if there is enough evidence to take the suspect to trial and the judge in the court will also read the warrant of arrest and defense lawyer will be given the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s case. In case the case is not dismissed, the suspect will be required to either plead guilty, not guilty or nor consent and based of his choice, the court will decide if the trail will take place or not.
When the suspect pleads not guilty for the crime accused, he or she will have to attend his trial and if they plead guilty of no consent, the court will move forward to sentencing. During the trial, the government has the obligation to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the defendant is indeed guilty of the crime being charged. In other situations, the jury will have to determine the outcome of the trial while in others it is the duty of the judge to do so without a jury. When the aftermath of the trial is guilty, a sentencing hearing will take place and if not guilty, the suspect is realized.
After the trial, a sentence hearing is held, here the judge is going to use all the evidence provided to the court to determine the penalty to be given for the defendant for the crime committed. It is also important to know that defendant is also meant to understand all of his or her rights. The offender also has certain rights that will give them the best promising chances to receive a rational outcome.