What it Means to Be Convicted of a Crime
There are many people in prisons or jail and many of these people 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. The police will be required to issue you with a warrant of arrest in case you are charged before you get arrested. The arrest warrant should clearly state the reasons why the person has been arrested. When the arrest is done, the person will stay in jail but 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.
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 other situations, the jury will have to determine the outcome of the trial while in others it is the duty of the judge to do so without a 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.
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. It is also important to know that defendant is also meant to understand all of his or her rights. Suspects arrested for committing crimes have certain rights that are read to them and this gives them the best possible chance to receive a just outcome during the case.