Presentation on theme: "Steps in Criminal Cases Criminal Court Proceedings."— Presentation transcript:
Steps in Criminal Cases Criminal Court Proceedings
Arrest and Booking When police gather enough evidence that a crime has been committed, they go to the judge to get an arrest warrant.
Arrest and Booking A valid warrant must have the suspect’s name and the alleged crime.
Arrest and Booking The arrested person is taken to a police station where the charges are recorded or “booked.”
Arrest and Booking During this booking process, the suspect may be fingerprinted, photographed, or placed in a lineup to be identified by witnesses.
Initial Court Appearance Once arrested, an individual must be brought before a judge within 24 hours to be formally charged.
Initial Court Appearance Judge explains the charges to the defendant and reads the person’s rights.
Initial Court Appearance If charged with a misdemeanor and pleads guilty, judge decides penalty. Pleads not guilty, judge sets date for trial.
Initial Court Appearance If charged with a felony, no plea is taken and a hearing date is set.
Initial Court Appearance At this point the judge may release you on your “own recognizance”, require bail or hold you in jail so you don’t flee.
Plea and Grand Jury Indictment Grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to formally charge a defendant. Grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to formally charge a defendant. Grand jury hearings are held in secret and may consider evidence not allowed in trials. Grand jury hearings are held in secret and may consider evidence not allowed in trials. The defendant may have a lawyer present to observe the proceedings but not for representation. The defendant may have a lawyer present to observe the proceedings but not for representation.
Arraignment After a grand jury indictment (formal charge), the next step is the arraignment.
Arraignment Judge reads formal charges against the defendant in an open courtroom.
Arraignment Defendant is represented by an attorney and the judge may ask questions of the defendant to be sure the charges are understood.
Arraignment A copy of the charges is given to the defendant who then pleads guilty or not guilty.
Arraignment Four types of pleas: 1. not guilty ( trial date is then set) 2. not guilty by reason of insanity 3. guilty 4. “nolo contendere”- judge immediately decides punishment
Plea Bargain Agreement made between the prosecution and the defense that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime in return for the government not prosecuting the defendant with the more serious crime originally charged.
Plea Bargain Widely used as a way to handle the tremendous volume of criminal cases the courts must process.
Plea Bargain Saves the state the cost of a trial in situations where guilt is obvious or government has a weak case.
Plea Bargain “Copping a plea” allows criminals to get off lightly. Encourages people to give up their right to a fair trial.
Trial & Petit Jury Defendants have the right to choose between a bench trial or a jury trial.
Trial & Petit Jury In a bench trial, judges hear the evidence, decide guilt or innocence, and determine punishment. Judges tend to find defendants guilty.
Trial & Petit Jury In a jury trial a group of citizens hears evidence to decide guilt or innocence.
Trial & Petit Jury In a jury, jurors are chosen from a selected group of citizens in the court’s jurisdiction.
Trial & Petit Jury Prosecuting and defense attorneys try to select jurors they believe will not go against their side.
Trial & Petit Jury Prosecution present its case against the defendant first by calling witnesses and presenting evidence.
Trial & Petit Jury The defense will cross- examine prosecution witnesses and will then present their own witnesses and evidence.
Trial & Petit Jury After all witnesses and evidence has been presented, each side makes their closing arguments and waits for the jury’s verdict/decision.
Sentencing Defendant released immediately after a “not guilty” verdict. If verdict is “guilty”, judge decides the punishment. The judge may hear victim statements or hold hearings to consider other circumstances that might affect the sentence.