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8 Steps in a Criminal Case


The legal process of criminal cases is more peculiar than other types of cases. If you want to know everything about the proceedings in a criminal case, you will read it below in 8 steps from the criminal law.

Steps In a Criminal Case

1st step – Investigation and Arrest

Police investigate what appears to be a crime. Police take evidence to a judge to obtain an arrest warrant. Then Police arrest the person, take them to a police station and record the charges.

2nd step – Initial Appearance

When someone is arrested, they must be brought before a judge as quickly as possible to be charged. The judge explains the charges to the defendant and reads the person their rights.

3rd step – Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury

In federal courts, cases go to a Grand Jury and the Grand Jury determines if there is enough evidence to “hand up” an indictment, or formal charge.

4th step – Plea Bargaining:

90% of criminal cases end with a guilty plea because of plea bargaining. In the pretrial process, the prosecutor, defense lawyer, and police work out an agreement through which the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser (or fewer crimes) in return for the government not prosecuting the more serious crimes.

5th step – Arraignment and pleas

At the arraignment, the judge reads the formal charge against the defendant in court. Defendant enters one of four pleas:
Not guilty
Not guilty by reason of insanity
Guilty, or in some states
No contest

6th step: The Trial

If the plea is “not guilty” the next stage is trial. Once the jury is selected, the prosecution presents its case, and then the defense presents. Both attorneys will make closing arguments that summarize their case.

7th step: The Decision (verdict)

After closing arguments. the jury discusses whether or not the defendant is guilty “beyond all reasonable doubt.

8th step: Sentencing

If the defendant is not guilty, they are released immediately. If they are guilty, the judge usually determines the sentence.

8 Steps in a Criminal Case
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