The criminal process after a person commits a crime begins with filing a formal complaint by a law enforcing officer or a civilian who believes a crime has been committed. This is followed by a pre-arrest investigation where a law enforcing officer looks for information about the accused and the crime. If the officer obtains reasonable grounds for arrest, the defendant is then arrested. At the point of arrest, the officer has an obligation to read the Fifth Amendment rights to the accused. Every person has a right to bail. In case bail is posted, the accused is released until the time when all the charges that are listed in the complaint form are released.
The defendant is then brought to court for the first time. In case the defendant is released on bail, he or she is summoned to appear in court failure of which a judge may issue an arrest warrant. In the first appearance, the defendant is advised on his or her right to counsel. It is during this time that the prosecutor determines whether the case has merit or sufficient evidence to pursue it. If there is insufficient evidence the case is dismissed. In case there is sufficient evidence, the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor negotiate a plea bargain. This is an arrangement where the prosecutor promises a lenient sentence if the defendant pleads guilty. At which point the defendant is sentenced. However, if the defendant pleads not guilty the prosecutor adduces evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The judge then makes a judged based on the evidence produced.
I think the criminal procedure process is fair because it emphasizes on upholding and informing the defendant of their rights. These rights include; right to remain silent, right to a public trial, right to counsel among other rights. Secondly, the defendant can only be arrested if there is a probable cause and only after investigation. Lastly, the start of proof for criminal cases before the defendant can be sentenced is beyond any reasonable doubt.
Lippman, Matthew. Criminal Procedure. illustrated. New York: SAGE, 2010.