How Criminal Cases Move Through the Court System

How Criminal Cases Move Through the Court System

If you plan to make a political action in America, you need to be aware of some legal matters first. One of them is knowing how criminal cases move through the court system.

What Is a Criminal Case?

Criminal cases are those crimes committed against the criminal laws of the local, state and federal government, including the Civil Rights Act. When found guilty of the crime, one can be punished by imprisonment, probation, fines, or even death. Here is an overview of how a criminal case can lead to such punishment:

  • Arrest. A law enforcement officer who either has an arrest warrant or personally witnesses a crime can arrest an individual.
  • Initial appearance. This is when the arrested individual appears in front of a judge to determine their identity, crime they are charged with, and their rights.
  • Preliminary hearing. When a preliminary hearing is held, the defendant’s lawyer and the prosecuting attorney would both present their evidence and witnesses testimony to the judge.
  • Arraignment. The arraignment is when the judge listens to the defendant’s plea – whether guilty or not guilty.
  • Trial. Depending on the severity of the alleged crime, and the state in which the trial is conducted a jury trial may be conducted with between six or 12 jurors. At this point, both the defendant’s side and the prosecuting side will each provide their side of the case, through evidence, to help the judge and the jury determine guilt.

All of the above describes what the law intends, but the system in the United States is broken in many ways. The process of “bonding out” discriminates against low and middle income persons accused of crimes, because they can neither afford the bond premium or they don’t have the assets required to have a bond issued for them. So, many low and middle income persons must remain in jail, cannot go back to their jobs, cannot support their families, and cannot earn income to make house and car payments.

It’s both fun and educational to learn the legal system of our country. Check out our website, Revitalizing America or the best-selling book Revitalize Book in America to know more about the country’s legal and political system.

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