reasonable doubt that defendant violated the law. Investigation and Arrest ● Criminal case begins when police believe crime has been committed and gather enough evidence to get an arrest warrant, or if police catch someone in act of committing crime, or if they have reasonable suspicion
to believe person has broken the law ● Taken to police station and charges are recorded, may administer tests without lawyer present Initial Appearance ● Must be brought to a judge within 24 hours to be formally charged with a crime. ● Judge reads charges and rights, if misdemeanor, can plead guilty and will decide a penalty ● If not guilty date is set for trial, or if felony, date set for preliminary hearing, also decides if released or held to answer. Usually requires some bail. Bail denied if likely to flee. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury ● Grand jury, group of citizens who review prosecution’s allegations in order to determine if enough to indict. ● Not entitled to attorney and done in secret ● Preliminary hearing, prosecution presents case to judge, other lawyer can present evidence ● Grand jury is time-consuming and expensive, so courts use information ○ Sworn statement by the prosecution asserting there is enough evidence to go to trial Plea Bargaining ● Guilty plea because of plea bargaining ● Defendant pleads guilty to a lesser crime in return for gov not prosecuting more serious crime ● Widely used to handle large amounts of cases ● Criticisms such as letting criminals getting off lightly, or gives up rights to a fair trial Arraignment and Pleas ● Arraignment is where judge reads formal charge against defendant in courtroom ● Defendant can enter 4 pleas ○ Not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty, or no contest ● If guilty or no contest, given up right to defense, judges decides punishment, sent to prison ● If not guilty, must be a trial and date is set The Trial ● Has right to choose between jury trial or bench trial ● Bench trial, judge hears all evidence and determines guilt or innocence. ● Judges more likely to find guilt than jury, a group of citizens who hear evidence in a trial ● Prosecution presents case, defense can cross examine witnesses and either side can object. ● Same with defense, under 5 th amendment, defendants do not have to testify The Decision ● Judge gives jury the law is required to apply, then decide at jury room ● To declare guilty, must find evidence beyond reasonable doubt ● Must have unanimous vote for guilty ● If cannot find verdict, hung jury, declares mistrial and a new trial may be scheduled later Sentencing ● If verdict is not guilty, defendant is released immediately and cannot be tried with same crime ● If guilty, judge determines sentence which includes ○ Prison time ○ Fine ○ Community service ● Jurors may play a role in sentencing, especially death penalty ● Victims of crime may make statements about sentence ● Law has minimum and maximum penalties for crimes ●
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