Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system is comprised of a myriad of steps for the purpose of bringing those responsible for committing crimes to justice. There are three primary categories which make up the criminal justice system. The first category is the “Police”, who are responsible for determining the type and magnitude of the potential crime and if it did indeed occur. They will begin by investigating to determine who is involved in the crime. Once the investigation reveals the identity of the perpetrator(s) then they will seek out those responsible for the purpose of arresting them for the crimes they are accused of committing. Once arrested the police will enter the perpetrators into the system through a systematic process known as booking…show more content…
The court system is responsible for verifying the facts of the case and deciding whether or not those arrested will be charged or released. If the prosecutor moves forward with charging the suspect, then the suspect becomes identified as the defendant. As a defendant, he or she will now go before a lower-court judge for the purpose of notifying the defendant of the formal charges against him or her, as well as being sure they understand their constitutional rights. In less serious cases, such as those classified as misdemeanors, an immediate trial can be held by the judge. Trials of this type are known as summary trials and do not necessitate the need for a jury. In cases of a more serious nature which are identified as felonies, the defendant will appear at a hearing for the purpose of determining whether they will be released or will be required to have a more formal hearing known as a preliminary hearing. During the preliminary hearing, the judge will decide if enough probable cause exists for the defendant to be bound over for grand jury indictment or arraignment depending on the state in which the proceedings are being conducted. The defendant will then appear at their arraignment hearing in order to enter their plea of guilty or not guilty. In the case of a guilty plea, they may be offered an opportunity to plea bargain. In this phase, they will be provided an opportunity to plead guilty…show more content…
During the trial, evidence will be presented and testimonies will be heard for purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant, by a judge or a jury. If and when guilt is established, the judge will begin to determine the appropriate sentence for the defendant, who has now become a convicted felon (Bohm & Haley, 2011, p.
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