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Stages of the Criminal Court Process - Essay Example

2 pages
485 words
University of Richmond
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Before a criminal case gets closed, it undergoes several steps to ensure justice to both the victim and the accused. This essay aims at outlining the various stages involved in a criminal court process and the importance of evidence in each step.

An arrest is the first stage where police arrest an individual for suspected wrongdoing. Proof for arrest involves being found in the act of breaking the law, being suspected of committing a crime or having an approved arrest warrant for a particular person. The information acquired by police is always essential to perform the arrest (Siegel, & Worrall, 2018). Bail is the second stage. This stage allows a suspect to pay a certain amount of money to earn their release from police custody if the court grants them. However, the defendant must promise to show up for all court proceedings (Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, 2016). Evidence held against the accused together with their records determines whether they can receive or denied a bail.

The third stage is Arraignment. This phase involves the first court hearing where everything filed against the defendant, including evidence, is read so that the suspect can plead "no contest," "innocent" or "guilty" (Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, 2016). The Grand Jury Proceedings is fourth whereby the prosecutor speaks in the court, explains their complaints, and presents evidence and witnesses related to a case. The evidence helps the prosecutor in placing charges against the defendants (Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, 2016).

Pre-Trial is the next stage where both the defendant and the prosecutor bring together their final resolutions so that the court knows the exact information, testimony and evidence to present during the trial. As such, the trial stage is when the prosecutor shows all the evidence needed to support the actions of the defendant. The prosecutor must hold relevant and concrete evidence to support their words against the defendant. The jury concludes in finding the accused guilty or innocent. Sentencing is the second last stage which comes after the court rules the defendant as guilty and draw the appropriate punishment for their actions.

Lastly, the Appeal stage allows the convicted defendant to request for a case review from a higher court if they still believe in their innocence from the accusations made against them (Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, 2016). The court requires the suspect to keep proving their accusations with truthful evidence (Schmalleger, Donaldson, Kashiwahara, Koppal, Chase, Brown, & Marash, 2014).

In conclusion, the accused remains innocent until evidence is truthful and strong enough to prove their actions. The prosecutors need to have proof before they file a case against someone.


Kadish, S. H., Schulhofer, S. J., & Barkow, R. E. (2016). Criminal law and its processes: cases and materials. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Schmalleger, F., Donaldson, S., Kashiwahara, K., Koppal, T., Chase, S., Brown, A., & Marash, D. (2014). Criminal justice today. Prentice Hall.

Siegel, L. J., & Worrall, J. L. (2018). Essentials of criminal justice. Cengage Learning.

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