The Process of Being Convicted for a Crime
There are many people in prisons or jail and many of these people need support in navigating the criminal justice system. When you are convicted for a crime, it is not as simple as getting arrested for trial and therefore, here are some guides that will help you understand the basis 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 short, you are now formally accused of committing the crime. If the person happens to be charged with a crime prior to them being arrested, the police are supposed to issue the person with a warrant of arrest. The arrest warrant should clearly state the reasons why the person has been arrested. Once arrested, the person will have to remain in jail for not more than 48 hours. When at this, the prosecutor who is the state’s lawyer will go through the police report to determine whether the person should be charged with a crime.
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. When the case is not dismissed by the court, the defendant should either plead guilty, not guilty or no consent and the based on the 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. Throughout the trial, the government has the duty to provide the court with prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty and should be charged. In some circumstances, the jury will determine the outcome of the trial while in others, the judge will do so without having to involve the jury. If the outcome of the trial is guilty a sentencing hearing will take place and if found not guilty, this is then referred to as acquittal where the suspect is released.
When the sentence hearing is taking place, the judge is required to take all the evidence into consideration for him or her to determine the penalty that the suspect will face for the crime. The defendant will also be made to understand his or her rights prior to facing any trial. People accused of crimes have certain rights that gives them the best possible chance to receive a fair outcome during their cases.