Peace Officer Trainee Discuss the Stages Investigative Essay

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Peace Officer Trainee

Discuss the stages (investigative, prosecutorial) at which each of the above interacts with a criminal defendant. Specify the roles of each and explain the process by which a suspect becomes a criminal defendant.

criminal justice system has interconnected parts that are working together to investigate and prosecute crimes. At the same time, officials have to be respectful of the defendant's civil rights and any kind of investigative techniques they are using to collect evidence. This is because the Constitution states, that all persons who are facing criminal prosecution must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

As a result, all of the different sides must work together to ensure that these basic principles are taken into account. This means that the police and federal agents will be at the forefront for investigating crimes and making arrests. Like what was stated earlier, any kind of evidence or witnesses interviewed must take these ideas into consideration. To ensure that the state has a strong case, the district attorney / U.S. Attorney's Office will talk with law enforcement about what they think happened and the kinds of evidence they have collected. The prosecutor's office will determine if there is enough proof to bring charges against an individual or group of people. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

Once someone is indicted, the district attorney / U.S. Attorney's Office will have to defend their actions for arresting and accusing this person of the crime. During this process is when the judges and magistrates will determine if there is enough evidence for a trial to proceed. At the same time, they have the ability to set bail and conditions for the defendant (if they are released before trial). While all of this is occurring, defense attorneys will work to identify holes in the prosecution's case. This is accomplished by looking at the evidence and anything they can use to help the defendant. In some cases, this could involve questioning the tactics of the police when they are collecting evidence or interviewing witnesses. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

Moreover, the defense will often negotiate with prosecutors (who are seeking some kind of plea bargain). This is when the accused will plead guilty to a lesser crime or will seek out immunity (based on the information they have). When a trial begins, these two sides are adversaries (who will debate the evidence and the constitutionality). The judge / magistrate will determine what kind of evidence is submitted. They also have the authority to accept any kind of plea bargains. The combination of these factors is showing how all of the different parties will play a role in: investigating crimes and safeguarding basic constitutional protections. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

When do you think the prosecutor's office should become involved in a case (pre arrest or post arrest)?

The prosecutor's office should become involved in the case when there is clear evidence that a felony has been committed. During the pre-arrest, they would talk with law enforcement about their theories surrounding the crime. This is when they will want to see what kind of evidence they have and if it is substantial enough to indict a person. When this is happening, prosecutors will want to know how the evidence was collected and what kinds of tactics were used. This will help them to decide if they can arrest and charge the individual. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

In the post arrest process, the prosecution has a duty to double check the facts in the case. They also have to discuss the situation with defense attorneys and how this evidence is relevant. It is usually during this time, that the prosecution will seek out some kind of plea bargain or they will go to trial. If any kind of evidence is uncovered that the police was violating various constitutional obligations, they have a duty to bring these matters out into the open. This will ensure that any kind of prosecutions are in compliance with basic constitutional provisions for the defendant. It is at this point that their case will be strengthened considerably. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

Do you think involvement by a prosecutor in the original stages of an investigation is a good idea?

Yes, the reason why, is because the prosecution can be able to determine the quality of the evidence being collected. Moreover, they can ensure that the police are not violating the defendant's civil rights in any way. This means that they will monitor how the police are questioning the suspect and potential witnesses. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

When this happens, the prosecution can ensure that their case is much stronger by overseeing the activities of law enforcement. This is when they will be able to make certain that any kind of evidence is admissible in court. At the same time, actively overseeing the investigation will prevent the defense from claiming that the police engaged in: shoddy investigative techniques or they ignored other possible theories. As a result, the prosecutor's involvement will help to build their case and make sure that every possible angle has been examined. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

Can a defense attorney ever become involved in a case prior to indictment or arrest?

Yes, defense attorneys can become involved before the indictment or arrest. This is because during the process of conducting a criminal investigation, law enforcement will need to interview the suspect. This means that they will be read their Miranda rights, which states that individual has the option of not saying anything and conferring with an attorney. When this happens, there has been no official arrest or indictment. Instead, the individual is a suspect who needs to be questioned by the police. Depending upon their answers and involvement, they could be completely ruled out or there will be more of a focus on their activities. Defense attorneys are preventing law enforcement from engaging in tactics that could violate the basic civil rights of their clients. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

For example, a person is detained who is believed to have committed a murder. The problem is that law enforcement is looking at several different angles and they are not sure if they had a role in the crime. To rule them out as a suspect, they will have to have a series of interviews with this individual. During this process, they failed to read the defendant their Miranda rights and begin questioning the suspect. When their defense attorneys walk in, they immediately inform investigators that any kind of evidence collected will be suppressed. This is because the police failed to follow the basic constitutional protections when interviewing the suspect. (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

These facts are showing how defense attorneys will play an important role during a criminal investigation. As the individual has not been charged, yet they are suspect in the crime. Defense council is ensuring that the police are following the basic constitutional provisions of the law. Once this happens, is when they can protect the interests of their client and strengthen their case (if the individual is charged). (Hess, 2010, pp. 32 -- 105) (Cryer, 2010, pp. 361 -- 424)

When does a judge or magistrate's function begin? In addition, briefly discuss the sources of criminal law.

A judge or magistrate's job begins the moment the…[continue]

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