The process of a jury trial starts before the judge, jury, prosecution, and defense enter the
courtroom. It actually starts with the accused and the law enforcement agency that
At this point, the accused must be read his constitutional rights, otherwise known as
Miranda rights, from the Supreme Court case
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966).
While still a suspect, the police must remind the accused of their right to remain silent,
right to an attorney, right to a court appointed attorney if they cannot afford a lawyer.
This must occur before interrogation, and a good police force will probably read it to the
suspect not once, but several times. Note, however, that if they do not intend to question
the suspect, they do not have to read him these rights, and indeed may never do so in
some instances. However, if the police have started questioning a suspect, they should
stop as soon as the suspect requests a lawyer to represent them. (Larson, 2000)
Once placed under arrest and taken into custody, the accused will have pre-trial hearings.
The first of these may well be to determine whether or not bond will be allowed to keep
the suspect out of jail until the next hearing. In most cases bond is set at the time of actual
arrest, however some individuals will have to wait for a bond hearing before a judge, who
sets the amount of the bond. In the hearing the Judge will read the actual charges against
the suspect, then determine, based on their seriousness, whether or not a bond will even
be allowed. The court can refuse Bond money received if they determine it was obtained
illegally. The court can also deny bond if they believe the suspect is a flight risk –
someone who will pay the bond to get out of jail and then disappear before the next
scheduled hearing. (Superpages)
The next pre-trial hearing is where judges have the opportunity to hear the evidence
collected and to determine whether all of it was acquired legally by law enforcement.
following state law and the U.S. Constitution. ”If the person was unlawfully arrested, or
the search and/or seizure were illegal, grounds exist for suppression. This means the
prosecution may not be able to introduce certain evidence at trial that may have been
incriminating. In some cases, where the primary evidence is suppressed, cases must be
dismissed.” (Miranda) Examples of this would include police searching a home without a