An arrest is the foremost category of the criminal justice process about the arrest of sentence process. The process begins where police conduct an arrest and take him or her into custody. However in different cases, before an arrest is made, investigations take the front line for the establishment of evidence of a crime committed, impose charges and arrest the defendant.
Once an arrest has been conducted, the second stage of the criminal justice process on arrest to sentence is the first appearance. In this case, the defendant is brought before a court and is read the charges against them. If the defendant agrees to the charges, a bail is set, but if one denies, a second appearance is scheduled for a different date.
The preliminary hearing comes after the defendant fail to make avail bail in the early days after the arrest. Here, the magistrate or the judge hears the evidence from the defense attorney for the defendant. If there is any proximity cause presented by the evidence about the crime, the judge determines on the charges of arrest to the defendant. Once this is done, the judge forwards the case to a more superior court to enhance further prosecution. However, if there lacks any probable cause, the judge dismisses the case, though the prosecutor can extend a guilty plea recommendation where necessary. If the defendant doesn’t differ, a date for the case is set down presided by the superior court judge on a plea calendar.
The grand jury that comprises of 16 to 23 people takes the next step by hearing evidence that has been presented against the defendant. Afterwards, they are at liberty to file charges that are known as indictments. Note better, in felony cases the jury is allowed to conduct investigations.
Arraignment that is similar to the first appearance comes in where the defendant appears before a court, and the judge reads the defendant charges against him. In this case; the defendant enters the first plea of guilty or not guilty.
Once arraignment has taken place, pre-trial motions and hearings take place. Here the defendant is allowed to question the evidence to be used against him. Also, the defendant is at liberty to enquire certain requests about the unique situation one could be in.
After the pre-trial motions and hearings take place, pre-trial conferences and trial calendar calls follow. This is where the defense and the state meet engaging in consultations related to any plea and also debate on resolving any other issues that had not been addressed during the pre-trial motions.
The final bit of the arrest to sentence process is the trial. During the trial which takes place either before a jury or a court of law, the scrutiny of the evidence presented against the evidence takes place to determine whether the charges against him prove him guilty past any reasonable doubt and hence sentence. Once the judge has ruled out the verdict, the defendant has the liberty to file a notice of appeal. This document gives the defendant a chance to request for reduction of his jail term. It also gives the defendant the right to request for revision of his case to check for any errors that would have been made during the trial. Once the document is accepted, a court known as an Appellate can entitle the defendant to a new trial that will offer different sentence, or reject any of the two hence the judgment that was passed to remain and the sentence too stays the same. The Notice Of Appeal has a deadline of 60 days counting from the day of sentence. In case a defendant hires a lawyer, the lawyer files the document.