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judicial process for a felony criminal charge that is filed in both federal and state courts. The paper includes all the steps that exist between the arrests right through to the pre-trial, trial and appeal. All the contingencies for the various stages are handled and the possibilities of all the outcomes examined. The paper is chronologically organized in order to provide an analysis of how the constitutional protection for the defendant operates at the various stages of the proceedings. We then conclude by giving the reasons as to the suitability of the system in dealing with the criminal prosecutions and the possible improvements that should be made to the system.
The judicial process is one of the fundamental ones for the process of ensuring that justice is served in our society. It is important for it to be transparent and just so that the victims get their justice, the defendants get fair trial and the state maintains peace and harmony.
This is carried out by the law enforcement agencies on the basis of probable cause, misdemeanor or felony (Lawyers, 2010)
Whenever a defendant is arrested and then unable to post the stated bond, he or she is then entitled to appear before the presiding judge within a period of 24 hours. During this session, the defendant is duly informed of the charges against them and then advised of their constitutional rights. The judge then reviews the various law enforcement reports and then subsequently raises or lowers the amount of bond that was set earlier. Alternatively, they may release the defendant on their own recognizance (Tesh,2009).
The filing of the criminal charges
This is the second judicial process in the case of a felony and involves the process of the receiving a formal complaint from the law enforcement agency by the State Attorney's Office. The Assistant State Attorney who is assigned to the case reviews the report and then may interview the witness. Total cooperation is necessary at this stage since a review of the case at this office will mean that it may or may not be granted a formal complaint from the relevant law enforcement agency sp as to pursue a criminal prosecution. A general lack of evidence sufficient to file a criminal charge would mean that the attorney would generate a document that indicates that no charges will be filed. In case an information is filed and the defendant is not arrested yet, then an order (or rather a court summon) is issued to the defendant for them to appear in court or a special order (referred to as capias or warrant) is issued for their arrest.
Victim impact or the restitution statement
A special form is provided by the Office of the State Attorney to each victim. This form referred to as the Victim Impact/Restitution Statement is completed by the victims in order for them to provide sufficient information regarding the effects of a certain crime, the amount of financial losses involved and the victim's commendation of a sentence in the case.
The victim has a constitutional right to be present at their arraignment. Their presence is however not a requirement.
This is an interview or a testimony that is administered under oath of a particular or all the witnesses in a certain case by the attorney of the defendant after the filing of the formal charges. In many cases, the assistant attorney is usually present during deposition.
This involves case management, pretrial conferences, plea hearings, motion hearings as well as the docket surroundings (Siegel,2008).
This is carried out by a jury that is selected by the State as well as by the Defense Attorney.
This is carried out according to the guidelines that are preset for various forms of felony. The sentencing of a misdemeanor is at the discretion of the trail judge. The victim has a constitutional right to be present at the sentencing of the defendant.
This is when after sentencing the court orders the defendant to pay a certain amount of restitution for the damages as well as losses caused by their crime.
These are as outlined by the County of Dane (2009)
Arraignment-this is used to refer to a court appearance at which a given defendant is charged…[continue]
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