The Meaning of Being Convicted for a Crime
There are many people in prisons or jail and many of these people need 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. This means that you are officially accused of committing that particular crime. The police will be required to issue you with a warrant of arrest in case you are charged before you get arrested. This warrant of arrest will be sued by the police to arrest the person once he has been located and the copy of the warrant should clearly state why the person has been arrested. Once arrested, the person will have to remain in jail for not more than 48 hours. During this time, the prosecutor is will determine whether the person should be charged with a crime or not.
Once the prosecutor decides that there is enough evidence to press charges against the person, a preliminary hearing is held. Through this hearing, the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to take the defendant to trail and this is based on the evidence provided and the judge also gives the defense lawyer 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.
When the suspect pleads not guilty for the crime accused, he or she will have to attend his trial and if they plead guilty of no consent, the court will move forward to sentencing. When the trial now takes place, the government will now have to prove to the court without any reasonable doubts that the defendant is guilty and should be charged for the crime. In some cases, the jury determines the outcome of the case while in others, it is the duty of the judge to do so without the help of the jury. If the outcome of the trial is guilty a sentencing hearing will take place and if found not guilty, this is then referred to as acquittal where the suspect is released.
After the trial, a sentence hearing is held, here the judge is going to use all the evidence provided to the court to determine the penalty to be given for the defendant for the crime committed. It is also important to know that defendant is also meant to understand all of his or her rights. People accused of crimes have certain rights that gives them the best possible chance to receive a fair outcome during their cases.
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