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. 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.
Before you are convicted for a crime that you have committed, you are required to be charged first. 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. 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. In the course of this hearing, the judge has the judge will decide if the suspect will face trial and this will be based on the amount of evidence present and the judge will also give the defense lawyer 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.
In a scenarios where the defendant pleads not guilty, he or she will have to attend the trial, and when he or she pleas either guilty or no consent, the court bypasses the trial and proceeds 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 cases, the jury determines the outcome of the case while in others, it is the duty of the judge to do so without the help of 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.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge now takes all the evidence into consideration in order to determine the penalty that the accused will face for the crime. It is also important to know that defendant is also meant to understand all of his or her rights. People accused of crimes have certain rights that gives them the best possible chance to receive a fair outcome during their cases.