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Police and Law Enforcement Paper

Autor:   •  February 21, 2013  •  Essay  •  940 Words (4 Pages)  •  921 Views

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Police and Law Enforcement paper

University of Phoenix

The criminal trial process begins either when an arrest is made, or when a warrant is issued. Within 48 hours of the arrest, an informal arraignment must be held. During the arraignment, defendants are informed of the charges brought against them. The defendant will be re-informed of the right to counsel. Bail will be set, at the discretion of the judge and depending on the charges. The next court appearance will be set. Defendants receiving no bail will be remanded into custody.

If the case is within state jurisdiction, a preliminary hearing will be held. The prosecutor must establish that a case is warranted. The judge would decide from the facts if the case should proceed. At federal level, rather than attending a preliminary hearing the defendant goes before the Grand Jury. The formal arraignment will take place within 30 days. A defendant may plea as ‘Guilty’, ‘Not Guilty’, ‘Nolo Contender’, conditional plea, or ‘Alford’. The case will proceed with pre-trial hearings, and the trial itself.

An appeal may follow. An appeal is a request to a higher court to examine the decided case. If an appeal is accepted, the appellate court goes to trial. It reviews the original case to determine if the findings were accurate, followed the law, and were truthful. The court may decide to overturn a decision or it may send it back to trail court for re-trial. The appellate courts provide a safe-guard to defendants. The appellate system exists because errors occur. Several cases have been overturned over faulty evidence.

An appeal is not put in place to undermine the prosecution. Prosecuting is essential to society. It implants accountability to those who commit crimes. Convictions serve as deterrent, so others avoid doing the same act. The prosecutor represents the interests of the state. An offender has committed a wrong against the state.The prosecutor is also known as the state attorney, district attorney, or commonwealth attorney (Schmalleger, 2011).

The prosecutor is not the only member of the courtroom workgroup. This workgroup includes the judge, clerk, court reporter, and defense counsel.All these play an important role in the process. But, it is the judge who oversees all procedures. The prosecution and the defense counsel present the case and explain what happened. The judge then interprets and decides on matters of the law, and sentencing. This group works together to improve court performance. This includes the use of plea bargaining. This tool provides an alternative to the tedious process of a trial. Boland, Brady, Tyson, & Bassler (1983) show that about 90 percent of criminal cases are settled by plea bargain. This means


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