What it Means to Be Convicted of a Crime
When you are either in prison or jail, you will need support in navigating the criminal justice system. When you are convicted for a crime, it is not as simple as getting arrested for trial and therefore, here are some guides that will help you understand the basis of criminal justice.
Before a person is convicted of a crime that they are accused of doing, the person is charged first. In other words, the person is formally accused of committing a particular 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. After the person is arrested by the police, he or she will be held in jail and this normally is not for more than 48 hours. During this time, the prosecutor is will determine whether the person should be charged with a crime or not.
When the prosecutor has got enough evidence to charge 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. When the case is not dismissed by the court, the defendant should either plead guilty, not guilty or no consent and the based on the 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. Throughout the trial, the government has the duty to provide the court with prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty and should be charged. 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. After the trial, if the defendant is found guilty, a sentencing hearing is held afterwards and if not found guilty, the suspect is released.
When the sentence hearing is taking place, the judge is required to take all the evidence into consideration for him or her to determine the penalty that the suspect 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.