Criminal Justice, the Process

Introduction

Every twenty-four hours people are arrested for many different discourtesies but what happens from there? In this essay we will analyze the series of events that take topographic point from apprehension to appeal in a felony instance. Some of the stairss involve prosecution and pretrial services, adjudication every bit good as condemning and countenances. In order for constabulary to do an apprehension, one or more of the undermentioned conditions must be met. The officer must hold likely cause, which is a sensible land for intuition which is supported by ocular grounds or fortunes. In this state of affairs an officer may besides necessitate a warrant for apprehension. An officer may besides collar person if they commit the felony in the presence of jurisprudence enforcement. No warrant would be required in this circumstance. At the clip of the apprehension, the officer is required to inform the individual of their “ Miranda Rights ” before any inquiring can take topographic point. Miranda rights are portion of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. At this point a individual can relinquish their rights and agree to be questioned without an lawyer nowadays. From the clip of apprehension officers have a really short period of clip to make up one’s mind whether to bear down an person or let go of them. This period is typically 24 to 48 hours from the clip of apprehension. Following the arrest a individual is either released without prosecution or have condemnable charges filed against them. Law enforcement officers and/or a prosecuting officer can put in gesture the condemnable justness procedure either before, or, after an apprehension by registering written charges. For officers this is known as the “ ailment ” and for the prosecuting officer it is termed “ information ” . At this phase the person will, either be released without prosecution, or do an initial visual aspect in tribunal. At the initial visual aspect, the accused is taken before a justice or magistrate who informs the accused of the charges and decides whether there is adequate likely cause to confine the individual. This is besides known as pre-trial release determination. Defense advocate is besides assigned at the initial visual aspect. Suspects who have been accused of serious offenses have the constitutional right to be represented by an lawyer. If the tribunal determines that the person can non afford such representation, the tribunal will delegate a public guardian. The result of this initial visual aspect can either be that the charges are dropped or that a preliminary hearing is set. The chief intent of this preliminary hearing is to find whether there is likely cause to believe that the individual committed a offense within the legal power of the tribunal. If the justice does non happen that there is likely cause, the instance is dismissed and the person is released. Following the preliminary hearing is a bond or detainment hearing. Depending on the badness of the offense, a individual can be released to expect test. Bail can be in the signifier of hard currency, a bond bond or sometimes by a pledge of belongings. A individual could besides be released with no bond which is known as being released on one ‘s ain recognisance. In terrible instances, a suspect will be held without bond if they are deemed unsafe

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Stairss

The following measure of the condemnable justness procedure varies depending on the province. Approximately half of the provinces require a expansive jury indictment. The other half relies on an information from a prosecuting officer. The expansive jury consists of 23 people who review the instances presented by the prosecuting officer. The expansive jury can decline to indict, but normally agrees with the prosecuting officer. The expansive jury process is done in secret without the defence nowadays. The province presents the grounds to the jury and a finding is made that there is adequate likely cause to believe that there was a offense and that a certain individual was responsible for perpetrating the offense. In a non-grand jury proceeding is held before a justice and the defence is able to traverse examine and present informants. In either circumstance the result can either liberate the suspect or the instance will continue. This hearing is besides used to find if the suspect is competent to stand test. A individual is considered competent to stand test if it can be determined that the person has a rational and factual apprehension of the proceedings against him or her. If this likely cause is met, the suspect will be brought in forepart of a justice for an arraignment. At the clip of arraignment the accused is informed of the charges against them, advised of his or her rights as a condemnable suspect and so asked to come in a supplication to the charges. At this point charges can be dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanour, a test day of the month is set, or the defendant pleads guilty. If the suspect pleads guilty or no-contest, which is accepting the charges without acknowledging any guilt ; the justice may accept or reject the supplication. One advantage of the no-contest supplication for suspects is that since it is non an admittance of guilt ; it can non be used as a footing for future civil proceedings. If the supplication is accepted, the suspect will be sentenced at a ulterior day of the month. The justice would reject the supplication if the justice believes the supplication was someway coerced. In a instance where the charges are reduced to a misdemeanour, there may still be a test and sentencing, but it would be to a lighter charge. If the suspect pleads non guilty, a test day of the month is set and readyings are set in gesture. Often times when a supplication of non guilty is submitted before traveling to test supplication dialogues take topographic point. The suspect ‘s attorney will negociate with the prosecuting officer to find whether the supplication deal is possible. Normally this supplication deal will affect the suspect pleading guilty to one or more charges. This is good if the suspect may confront a much harsher sentence if a instance goes to test. The prosecuting officer would normally urge a sentence at this point so that both the charges and the sentence will be known when the suspect submits the negotiated supplication. A suspect ‘s attorney examines the strength of the prosecuting officer ‘s instance every bit good as the effects the suspect would confront if they went to test and lost. Supplication bargaining is encouraged because such supplications cut down the tribunal ‘s work load every bit good as save taxpayer ‘s money. Surveies have shown that 90 % of condemnable instances are finally resolved with a supplication understanding. Some advocators have argued that supplication understandings result in excessively light of a sentence for many felons. While this may be true in some instances, the justice will utilize the best discretion to avoid remarkably light sentences.

Brady Doctrine

If a supplication understanding can non be reached the instance will continue to test. Prior to the test day of the month there is normally a find period. During this clip pretrial gestures and hearings can take topographic point. The Supreme Court ‘s ‘Brady Doctrine ‘ requires that the prosecution portion with the defence all exculpatory grounds that they possess. Exculpatory grounds is the grounds favourable to the suspect in a condemnable test, which clears or may unclutter the suspect of guilt. It is besides referred to as Brady stuff. Court regulations besides require both sides to unwrap the names and references of the informants they intend to name so that the opposing side can interview the informants before test. This type of construction is referred to as an adversarial system. The theory behind it is that justness will most likely prevail when both sides are able to adequately fix their instances. It is a “ no surprises ” attack. Unfortunately the caseloads of many public defence offices do n’t let resources for thorough investigation of every instance. Pretrial gestures besides can happen before a condemnable test Begins. Pretrial gestures can be made for a broad assortment of grounds, including but non limited to: suppression of grounds because the grounds was improperly obtained ; a alteration of locale ; admittance or exclusion of grounds ; a compelling find withheld by either side ; a finding of a suspect ‘s competency to stand test ; and tribunal assignment of adept informants for an indigent suspect. Pretrial gestures are decided by the tribunal without a jury. Harmonizing to the Sixth Amendment, the accused has the right to a speedy and public test. In 1974 Congress passed the ‘Speedy Trial Act ‘ . Unless the suspect waives the right to a rapid test, this act set a specific figure of yearss ; 30 from the day of the month of apprehension for indictment or information and 70 yearss from the day of the month of indictment for a test to get down for a suspect who has pleaded “ non guilty ” . There are some exclusions to the regulation. When a expansive jury is non in session, a 30-day extension can be granted to seek an indictment. With the exclusion to the 70-day regulation, if a suspect is non available for test or if informants can non be called, the period can be extended up to 180 yearss.

Fifth Amendment

If a suspect is charged with a offense punishable by six or more months in prison, he has the right to a test by jury. The suspect waives this right by either pleading guilty or electing a “ bench test ” where a justice performs the map that a jury usually would. Some grounds that a suspect may bespeak a bench test are: if there are proficient facets that a jury may non understand or if the suspect believes the fortunes of the instance may upset the jury and do them unable to look at the instance objectively. Normally a suspect will choose a jury test. At this point the jury choice procedure begins. The defence and the prosecution participate in the jury choice procedure in order to obtain a just test. Either side can dispute a possible juryman “ for cause ” which means that the juryman is unable to be nonsubjective in hearing or make up one’s minding on a instance. Some factors that a juryman may be challenged on are: if they have anterior cognition of the instance, if they have some sort of relationship with the prosecuting officer or defence, and if they are someway incapable of hearing or understanding the testimony. Challenges to the array of jury are by and large brought about by the defence lawyer if the belief is that the pool of possible jurymans does non stand for the population of the community or if they are someway biased in an obvious manner. The prosecution or the defence is besides entitled to peremptory challenges which are when either side can take a juryman without giving a ground. Once the jury is selected, the prosecution and defence can do their gap statements. The prosecution so begins to name informants. The defence is given the chance to cross-examine informants. This is a right protected by the Sixth Amendment where the accused is entitled to be confronted with the informants against them. After hearing from the prosecution ‘s informants, the defence has the chance to forestall its instance. The defence can name informants to attest who may besides so be cross-examined by the prosecution. The suspect does non hold to attest in their ain defence. During test the suspect is besides protected by the “ rumor regulation ” which prohibits usage of any secondhand grounds. The informants may non attest about anything they do non hold direct cognition of. After all testimony is heard, and each side has rested the justice gives instructions to the jury with respects to the legal issues of the instance and so both sides are able to show shutting statements. After the shutting statements, the justice sends the jury to consider on the grounds until it has reached a finding of fact. Since the load of cogent evidence remainders on the prosecution jurymans are frequently reminded that the prosecution needed to hold proved guilt beyond a sensible uncertainty. The jury so retires to consider and get at a finding of fact. If a jury arrives at a not-guilty finding of fact, the suspect is freed and can ne’er once more be tried for the same offense because the dual hazard clause in the Fifth Amendment prohibits a 2nd test for the same discourtesy. If the jury arrives at a guilty finding of fact frequently times the instance will be appealed. A suspect who is found guilty of some or all charges is entitled to an entreaty to at least one degree of appellant tribunal. In instances where the decease punishment is involved there is an automatic entreaty.

Entreaty

An entreaty is really different from a test. There is no grounds presented or informants questioned ; it is simply an chance to rectify a legal mistake that was damaging. The first measure is to register a notice of entreaty in the test tribunal within a timely mode. In my province of California, whether an entreaty will be heard in a province or federal tribunal is dependent on where the instance has been litigated therefore far. In most fortunes a suspect will obtain an appellant lawyer who will fix a brief based on the tribunal transcripts. The brief is so sent to the tribunal of entreaty where it is reviewed by the respondent who reviews the tribunal transcripts and the plaintiff in error ‘s brief. The respondent so files their ain brief. The plaintiff in error can so register a “ answer brief ” . In the answer brief the plaintiff in error can react to the points raised by the opposing side. After the Jockey shortss are submitted, the two appellant lawyers participate in an unwritten statement. This is where the two parties have the chance to discourse the issues of the entreaty with the Court of Appeal panel of justnesss. The Court of Appeal so reviews the transcripts, the Jockey shortss and conducts their ain independent research. The tribunal so releases a written sentiment as to whether or non the test tribunal ‘s determination should be corrected. If a favourable result for the suspect is non found by the Court of Appeal, they may seek reappraisal by the California Supreme Court by a “ Petition for Review ” . The California Supreme Court is selective about which instances it will hear, so the instance must be really compelling to do it to this degree of entreaty. If the entreaty is to do its manner to the United States Supreme Court there must be a “ federal inquiry ” . The entreaty must cover with the U.S. Constitution or a U.S. legislative act. The condemnable justness procedure is non a perfect one. Many extremely publicised instances find it difficult to choose members of the jury who are non already familiar with the instance. This can do it hard for some Americans to have a just test in any locale. While it is of import to protect the inexperienced person from strong belief, the condemnable justness procedure is both dearly-won and drawn-out. In my sentiment, bettering the condemnable justness procedure goes all the manner back to bettering the morale of the general public therefore cut downing offense as a whole. With the tribunals holding fewer felons to set on test, there would be a lesser load on the public felon defence offices and they would be able to take more clip for each instance ‘s probe and readying.

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