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Criminal La

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Submitted By happy4321
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Parties and Pretrial Procedures

Jayson L. Ingram

CRJ306: Criminal Law & Procedure

Instructor: Justin Lawrence

19 July 2015

In this paper we are going to be going over the procedures that the prosecutor has to take in order to take a case to trial. These steps are very important steps that every prosecutor has to take in order to make a case that will make it to trial and in front of a judge and jury.

The special responsibilities every prosecutor has to make towards initiating a criminal case against a defendant are they should refrain from charging a case that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause. Make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to and the procedure for obtaining counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel. Not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing. Make timely disclosure to the defense of all the evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal. Not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege and the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution and there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information.

How do prosecutor makes the decision to charge someone or not charge them. Prosecutors can file formal charges only if they believe that they can prove a suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutor’s can also take a broader perspective of this. They have what is called the prosecutorial discretion. The prosecutor can look at all the circumstances of a case including the suspects past criminal recorded in deciding whether and what to charge the defendant with. Prosecutors can file charges on all crimes for which the police have arrested a suspect on or can file charges that are more of less severe than the charges leveled by the police, or they can decide not to file any charges at all.

Why is a grand jury used rather than the prosecutor simply issuing a criminal charge is because the grand jury job is to simply decide whether or not to charges should be brought in the first place rather than deciding the fuilt or innocence of a person at trial. A prosecutor presents evidence to the gran jury and the gran jury returns its verdict on whether or not charges should be brought and what charges thos should be. The grand jury is the one that tell the prosecutor what the charges are going to be or if they are even going to let this case go to trial or if there should be any charges at all put on the person. Sometimes this can be pretrial intervention this is that you go in front of the judge and the judge tells the person they have to do this and that and then the file well be dismissed and there will be no charges brought up on that person. As a recruiter I see this kind of thing all the time. I have people come in the office and they tell me that they did have a DUI but they did pretrial intervention and the charges were dismissed.

The prosecutor will give the jurors what is called a bill of charges and then presents evidence including witnesses in order to obtain an indictment. Prosecutors like grand juries because the grand jury functions like a test trail and enable prosecutors to see how the evidence will be received by jurors. If the grand jury indicts a defendant base on the evidence presented it returns what is called a “true bill”. If the grand jury decides not to indict it returns what is called a “no bill”. However even if a grand jury does not indicts the prosecutor can return to the same grand jury and present additional evidence get a new grand jury or eve file criminal charges regardless.

The defense attorney can advise the defendant of his or her rights, make arguments to the courts about whether evidence is sufficient to support formal charges against the defendant and present evidence on the defendant’s behalf. In some cases a defense attorney and a defendant may agree that the defendant should testify to the grand jury. For instance the case may involve the issue of self defense and the defendant could be a much more credible witness than the victim. This kind of decision is very difficult to make and a defendant should never choose to testify to the grand jury without consulting with an attorney and exploring the matter thoroughly.

The procedural and substantive ways that a prosecutor and defense attorney can resolve a case before it goes to a grand jury are by what is called a pretrial conference. This is a meeting of the parites to the case conducted prior to trial. The conference is held before the trial judge or a magistrate a judicial officer who possesses fewer judicial powers than a judge. A pretrial conference may be conducted for several reasons they are expedite disposition of the case, help the court establish managerial control over the case, discourage wasteful pretrial activates, improve the quality of the trial with thorough preparation and facilitate a settlement of the case. Plea bargain for a lesser charge, this is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for an agreement by the prosecutor to drop one or more of the charges, reduce a charge to a less serious offense or recommend to the judge a specific sentence that is acceptable to the defense. Since criminal trials can take days sometimes months a plea bargain can take a few minutes. Also the outcome of any give trial is usually unpredictable whereas a plea bargain provides both the prosecution and the defense with some control over the results.

The ways that the prosecutor and the defense dispositions of the case before it goes to trail is that they can make a plea bargain and the offend agrees to a lesser charge and enters in a plea of guilty. If the offend does this then the case will not go trail but he will just be sentenced for the charges that the prosecutor and defense attorney have come to an agreement on.

References

Wright, R. (2013). Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure. San Diego, CA” Bridgepoint Education. Inc

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