Court Procedures in a Criminal Case--how a court determines whether a person accused of breaking the law (a crime) is guilty or not guilty of a misdemeanor (smaller crime) or felony (larger crime)

Remember, in a CRIMINAL case (a crime), a person is suspected of breaking the law. In the courtroom, it will be the government (prosecution) VERSUS the person who broke the law (defendant) and is NOT between 2 people.

Common Crimes: Theft/Robbery, Arson, Murder, Assault/Battery

Step 1: A person who is accused of a crime may be arrested. Police officer must have probable cause that he/she did the crime (read you your Miranda rights). A police officer must need probable cause for a warrant from a magistrate.


Step 2: Jail or Bail: The person accused of the crime will be sent to jail, and if the crime is not large enough (murder), they may be released on bail for an appropriate (not excessive) amount of money based on how big the crime is.

8th Amendment=no excessive bail

Are you innocent, like this cat?

Step 3: Arraignment: An arraignment is when a plea is entered (the defendant says he/she is guilty or not guilty), probable cause is reviewed, and a lawyer may be appointed.

Arraignment=Enter Plea VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW!!

Jury before it goes back into the courtroom!

Step 4: A court date is set and a trial is conducted. It depends on how large of a crime it is as to if there will be a jury or not.

Appealing to a higher court

Step 5: The defendant may appeal a guilty verdict if they feel there was unfair treatment (they would only do so if they were found GUILTY).

If they are found innocent they may not be tried/charged for the same crime twice (that would be double jeopardy, and against the 5th amendment--even if there is clear evidence after the fact that someone committed a crime!)

DUE PROCESS CONNECTION: The criminal trial of a person accused of a crime must follow specific procedures in order to help guarantee a fair trial.

Here's an example of the steps of a Criminal Case.


Created with images by fourbyfourblazer - "Under Arrest" • bluelemniscate - "stocky crime tape photo" • ElisaRiva - "thieves theft robbery" • ElisaRiva - "thieves theft robbery" • Southern Arkansas University - "Lawyers' Conference 9.21.12" • One Day Closer - "Guilty" • zdulli - "supreme court us supreme court states" • stevebott - "Jury Duty" • JohnE777 - "Tread Upon Now What?" • MDGovpics - "Chief Judge Robert Bell's Portrait Unveiling at the Court of Appeals"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.