What it Means to Be Convicted of a Crime
Many people who are in either jails or prisons require 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.
If you are a suspect of a certain crime, you are required to be charged first before you are convicted of the crime. In short, you are now formally accused of committing the crime. In case you are charged with a crime before you are arrested, the police are required to issue you 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. While at this, it is the prosecutors work to determine whether the person will be charged with a crime or not.
When the prosecutor has got enough evidence to charge the person, a preliminary hearing is held. During this hearing, the judge will now decide if there is enough evidence to take the suspect to trial and the judge in the court will also read the warrant of arrest and defense lawyer will be given the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s case. In case the case is not dismissed, the suspect will be required to either plead guilty, not guilty or nor consent and based of his choice, the court will decide if the trail will take place or not.
In case the defendant pleads not guilty for the offence he or she will be required to attend a trial, and if the defendant pleads guilty or no consent, the court will dodge the trial and proceeds to sentencing. During the trial, the government has the obligation to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the defendant is indeed guilty of the crime being charged. In other situations, the jury will have to determine the outcome of the trial while in others it is the duty of the judge to do so without a jury. When the aftermath of the trial is guilty, a sentencing hearing will take place and if not guilty, the suspect is realized.
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. The defendant will also be made to understand his or her rights prior to facing any trial. The offender also has certain rights that will give them the best promising chances to receive a rational outcome.
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