In the USA, the criminal justice process varies from state to state unless the case is federal. There are several steps involved in the criminal justice process, beginning with a criminal investigation and ending with conviction or acquittal. This system involves a set of investigation agencies, several processes and rules set up by government to investigate criminal acts and impose penalties on the convicted.

Steps in the criminal justice process:

  • The criminal justice process begins with a crime or compliance.
  • Based on the evidence, the police identify the suspect and perform an arrest.
  • After arrest, the accused can usually apply for bail.
  • If the suspect is charged, the officials will initiate the court trial.
  • After this, the accused can hire a criminal defense lawyer for representation.
  • If the accused pleads guilty, then the criminal defense lawyer may request a plea bargain, which will reduce the final sentence.
  • Otherwise, the defense lawyer collects evidence to prove the client is innocent.
  • If the jury finds the accused guilty, then the accused has to face the sentencing. Otherwise, the accused goes free.
  • If any side is not satisfied with the judgment, they can appeal and challenge the judgment.
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