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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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