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Criminal Justice Process Whodunnit: The Investigation.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Justice Process Whodunnit: The Investigation."— Presentation transcript:


2 Criminal Justice Process Whodunnit: The Investigation

3 Step 1: Search and Seizure a.4 th Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure, but does not give absolute protection of privacy b.Courts determine reasonableness - issuing warrants

4 i. Search Warrant: a court order granting police right to search a person or place ii. Affidavit: sworn statement of facts and circumstances 1. Used to determine whether a warrant should be issued

5 iii. Warrants expire after a set number of days iv. Searches usually must be during the day v. Search must be relevant to the crime 1. EX: can’t search drawers for a stolen stereo system vi. Police must knock, announce their purpose, and ask to come in, unless evidence would be destroyed

6 c.Some searches do not require warrants i. Search incident to lawful arrest: search occurs at the time of arrest in the area around the site of arrest i. Search incident to lawful arrest: search occurs at the time of arrest in the area around the site of arrest

7 ii.Stop and frisk: police stop and search someone acting suspiciously for weapons 1.“plain feel” exception: may seize illegal substance if it is clear to officer’s sense of touch

8 iii.Consent: search after voluntary agreement by the person being searched iv.Plain view: if object can be viewed from a place where the officer has a right to be it can be legally seized

9 v.Hot pursuit: police may enter a building a suspect (that is being chased) has entered 1.they can also seize any evidence found while pursuing the suspect vi. Vehicle searches: police may search a car when they have probable cause to believe the car contains illegal items

10 vii.Emergency situations: police may search when danger is imminent 1. EX: a bomb threat, smoke in a house, screams

11 viii.Border and airport searches: customs agents may search property without cause 1. Body searches require suspicion of criminal activity (excepting metal detectors)

12 d.After arrest, court determines whether evidence was obtained reasonably i.Exclusionary rule: if search is unreasonable, evidence found can NOT be used in trial 1. Only can be used if a lawyer files a motion to suppress evidence before the trial

13 Step 2: The Arrest a.Two ways i. Arrest Warrant: a court order directing the police to take the person named in it into custody

14 1. A police officer or a victim files a complaint giving all of the facts 2. Judge determines whether it is likely that the accused committed the crime (probable cause)  if yes, they issue the warrant

15 ii.Probable Cause: reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime 1.When the police don’t have time to get a warrant, they can make an arrest based on probable cause 2. Probable cause requires facts, but not as much proof as needed for conviction

16 b.When arresting, police may use as much force as is reasonably necessary i.1985: USSC said police can only use deadly force when it is necessary to prevent escape and “the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect posed a significant threat of death or serious physical harm to others.”

17  False arrest: Police violate the rules of arrest –involves excessive force or lack of probable cause for the arrest (innocence is not necessarily grounds for false arrest)

18 Step 3: Interrogation a.Interrogation: police questioning of the accused with the goal of confession b.Confessions are only legal when they are voluntary and trustworthy

19 i.Confessions are unusable if the person has: 1.first requested to speak to a lawyer and has been denied 2.not been informed of their rights (Miranda rights) before questioning Note: Miranda rights are not required for arrest, only to use information given by the defendant after arrestNote: Miranda rights are not required for arrest, only to use information given by the defendant after arrest

20 Step 4: Booking: The formal process of making a police record of the arrest a.Must give name, address, date of birth, place of work, and arrest record b.Fingerprinted and photographed

21 Step 5: Initial Appearance : first visit to court a.Judge explains defendant’s rights and charges against them b.Judge appoints attorney or allows defendant to choose their own

22 c.Set bail i.In the most serious cases, bail may not be offered d.In misdemeanor, defendant enters plea (guilty or not guilty)

23 Step 6: Pre-trial Hearings a.Preliminary hearing: hearing in which prosecutor must show they have enough evidence for trial i.Defendant is present with a lawyer, can cross-examine, and can call favorable witnesses ii.If judge determines there is not probable cause, case is dismissed

24 b.Grand jury: 16-23 people who determine whether there is probable cause in a case i.Defendant does not have a right to be there ii.No judge, prosecutor not required to give all evidence iii.Can follow a preliminary hearing if the judge dismisses the case

25 Indictment: decision that there is probable cause that the accused committed the crime For a federal case to go to court, there must be a grand jury indictment

26 Step 7: Arraignment : accused’s court appearance at which they enter their plea (only in felony cases) accused’s court appearance at which they enter their plea (only in felony cases)

27 Step 8: Pretrial Motion: Formal request that the court take some action or make a certain ruling a.Usually involve dismissing case or obtaining or suppressing information (most common: motion to suppress evidence)

28 Step 9: Plea Bargaining: Negotiation among the accused, their attorney and the prosecutor to find a charge the accused will admit to a.Most cases (95%) end with plea- bargaining, instead of going to trial

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