Criminal Justice Process Analysis

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The criminal justice system is made of rules that are in place to not only protect the victim and the convicted, but also the prosecution and the defense attorneys. The system is governed by these guidelines from the time a police officer suspects a crime all the way to the day the offender is released from prison. The steps for an individual to be convicted of a crime must start with the arrest, and fallow the process in order to the pre-trial, trial, and appeals. There are different guidelines that apply to state and federal cases. To effectively understand the criminal justice process a person must start at the bottom and follow the progression of the charge. The beginning of any criminal proceeding begins with the arrest of a suspect. …show more content…
The police question suspects and witnesses for two reasons, to gather information about the crime and to try to get a suspect to confess if they believe the individual is guilty. This is where Miranda rights are important. The Constitution guarantees certain rights including the following. The right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney, either one that is appointed by the state or one that is privately hired. To start with the first line of the Miranda statement “You have the right to remain silent”. The 5thAmendment of the Constitution states that a person shall not “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”. This includes oral or written confessions during questioning. An individual cannot self incriminate. This is important because interrogations are stressful for any individual whether they are guilty or innocent. The statements the individual may make can be misconstrued and make the police believe that there was a crime committed, or if an individual gives a misstatement the police can view that as a lie. When you give the police any statement or confession, or anything that you tell the police they can document it and if the case is heard in a civil or criminal court, what is said or written can be used as evidence against the …show more content…
When determining the possible penalty that can be given, the judge will take into account (if applicable due to mandatory sentencing laws) the defendant’s prior criminal record, their age, and also the circumstances of the case. If there are no mandatory sentencing laws the judge must first determine if the defendant is being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. “A felony is a crime that may be punished by 1 year or more of incarceration. A misdemeanor is a crime that may be punished by no more then 1 year of incarceration” (Wright, 2013). During this hearing this is the convict’s only opportunity to present to the judge why they should be given the lowest sentence possible. Once the individual is sentenced they have the right to an appeal. An Appeal court has two functions. “The first function of an appeals process is to correct errors by the initial decision-maker” (Drahozal, 2011). The second is law making. “At least in common law countries, appellate judges decide cases that provide precedents to guide decisions in future cases” (Drahozal, 2011). This is one reason why appeals are needed to ensure the defendant is not a victim of the courts errors. If the defendant can prove the trial court did in fact make a legal error or errors, or they were denied due process of the law, or the right to a fair trail was not met, it could result in a retrial

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