PRETRIAL by alicejenny


    Prosecutorial Review
After arrest, prosecutor reviews case to
decide what charges to make against
Decide if there is enough evidence to
file formal charges against the arrestee,
and what those charges should be
        Plea Bargaining
Defendant pleads guilty in about 90% of
all cases; these cases don’t go to trial
PLEA BARGAINING = an agreement to
plead guilty in return for a reduction in
charges or a lighter sentence
Plea agreement can occur at any time
during a criminal case
          I. First Court Appearance
A. Arrested person taken before a judge
   usually within 24 or 48 hours of being
   arrested; judge ensures that criminal
   suspect knows rights and is not being
   abused by authorities
B. Typical procedures by a judge
     1.    Informs arrestee of charges
     2.    Informs arrestee of right to counsel
     3.    Determines bail
     II. Probable Cause Hearing
A.  Purpose is to keep charges with insufficient
    evidence from being brought to trial (have to
    prove there is probable cause to believe the
    arrestee committed the crime)
B. Types of Hearings
     1.    Preliminary Hearings
          a.   Prosecution presents evidence to a judge to prove
               probable cause
          b.   Defense can cross examine witnesses
          c.   If judge finds probable cause, files an INFORMATION,
               a document that accuses the defendant of committing
               a crime
  II. Probable Cause Hearing
B. Types of Hearings (continued)
  2. Grand Jury
     a.   Used in some states and in all federal cases
     b.   Made up of 23 citizens from county where crime
     c.   Prosecution calls witnesses; defense cannot cross-
     d.   If jurors find probable cause, they issue an
          INDICTMENT, a document accusing defendant of
  3. Complaint
     a.   Used for misdemeanors only
     b.   No separate hearing; a written complaint against the
          arrestee serves as the formal accusation
                 III. Arraignment
A.   Defendant called into court to PLEAD TO THE CHARGES
B.   Defendant has three basic choices of pleas:
   1.  Not guilty
   2.  Guilty
   3.  Nolo Contendere (no contest; has same effect as guilty
       plea, but doesn’t serve as an admission of guilt if you are
       sued in a civil case)
C.   Typical proceedings by the judge
   1.  Informs defendant of various constitutional rights
   2.  Reads information or indictment, gives defendant a copy
   3.  Asks defendant to plead to charges
   4.  Asks if defendant want jury trial or court trial
             IV. Pretrial Motions
A.    Defendant makes them during
B.    Example – gag orders
     1.   Prohibit trial participants and government
          officials from making statements to the
     2.   Makes it less likely that pretrial publicity
          will influence fact finder (jury or judge)

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