Have you ever found yourself questioning the procedure of a criminal law case? Do you wonder want comes in the beginning and in the end? This article summarizes the life cycle of a typical criminal case.
Criminal trials in the US are governed by The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Each state, similar to federal rules, has a set of rules for criminal procedure. The steps mentioned in this article can change on case to case basis. If you have any criminal charges against you or want to file charges, please consult an attorney first.
8 Steps of a Criminal Case:
Law enforcement authorities must have “probable cause” to arrest you and charge you with a crime before they may arrest you. An occurrence that becomes the basis of a criminal prosecution generally begins with an investigation by a member of a law enforcement agency, such as the FBI, a local police department, or the county sheriff.
You will be arrested if police believe they have probable cause. You are booked in a local police station or prison once you are arrested. The police will take your fingerprints and pictures as well as record the charges against you throughout this procedure. You might also be searched and asked for information.
Defendants come before a judge for the initial hearing of the case shortly after the defendants are arrested and charged. These initial sessions are referred to as arraignments in certain countries. In the initial hearing or arraignment, accused persons will learn more about their rights and charges.
The following step in the criminal defense procedure is the commencement of pre-trial meetings and hearings or a federal Grand Jury case. The two parties examine the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor, pretrial motions, and indirect elements that relate to the defense case, such as the character, history, and rationale behind the crime.
The criminal proceeding is the step at which true criminal culpability is established. If the accused requests a jury trial, potential jurors will be questioned if a fair and unbiased result can be reached. Each party delivers its opening statement when the jury is picked. The Prosecution makes the case against the defendant of the State and offers evidence in the form of witness evidence and the real physical proof itself in some circumstances. The defendant provides proof of innocence or other information towards the end of evidence of the prosecution that might put guilt in doubt.
The jury must consider and reach a unanimous judgment in a criminal proceeding to declare whether the defendant is guilty or not. If several accusations exist, each charge must be verified.
The court must inflict some kind of suitable penalty if the jury deems the defendant guilty. The judge may impose prison, fines, counsel or rehabilitation mandated by the Court, community work, restitution, and probation depending upon the seriousness of the offense.
Even after conviction, an accused may appeal by requesting a higher court to examine and alter a lower court’s judgment. An appeal is not a new trial; rather, it is a chance for a defendant to claim that specific errors made by the trial judge or the defendant’s own counsel may have altered the outcome of the case.
Autrey Law Firm has the best team of criminal lawyers to give you a fair and square trial.