Adult Justice Process

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  • Step 1.  Arraignment.  - A suspect has a first court appearance 24 to 48 hours after arrest. - The judge reviews circumstances involved and decides whether or not there is probable cause for the arrest.   -The suspect is read his rights. 
  • Step 2. Bail.  - Bail is set if crime is non-violent or if the suspect is not likely to run away.  - If the suspect does not return when scheduled, a warrant is issued for his arrest.  - If bail is not set, or he is unable to pay the bail, the suspect is held in jail until the court date. 
  • No bail for me :(
  • I plea not guilty
  • STEP 3. Commitment Hearing. - The suspect pleads “guilty” or “not guilty” to the charges.  - If the judge decides that there isn’t enough evidence, the case may be dropped.  - If there is enough evidence, the judge will set a trial date. 
  • STEP 4. Preparing for Trial. Both sides prepare: - Gather evidence  - Interview witnesses  - Prepare argument  - Choose jury 
  • The suspect will accept the plea bargain.
  • Step 5. Plea bargain. - The prosecution can offer a “deal” to the suspect.  - If accepted, the suspect agrees to plead “guilty” for a lighter sentence and there is no trial.  - If the defense does not accept the plea, the trial date stands.  
  • STEP 6. The trail. - The prosecution tries to prove the suspect is guilty.  - The defense tries to prove the suspect is not guilty.  - The jury has the final say. 
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