The second stage in any criminal trail is booking and offering an initial bail. This phase occurs after arrest. Booking and bailing is the first stage of proceedings that occur in a courtroom. This involves arraignment of a crime suspect. In this stage, several activities take place. First, the criminal or suspect is called before a judge in the criminal court. The crime suspect at this point is refereed to as a defendant and the court judge takes time to read the charges put against him. He also inquires from him whether he has a personal lawyer or the court should appoint one of its lawyers for the defendant.
The judge also asks the defendant whether he pleads guilty or not to the charges against him. He then makes a decision on altering the amount stated as bail or discharge the defendant on his own recognizance. Finally, he announces the dates when future proceedings will be done. These proceedings may be, preliminary hearing, trial or pre-trial motions. In preparation for the preliminary hearing, the court’s prosecutor supplies the defendant and his lawyer, copies of reports from relevant authorities and other documents pertinent to the case.
This stage is crucial in every criminal trail because it helps in determining whether the defendant is guilty or not. Some defendants will admit guilt and this will help the prosecution in determining the right penalty to administer. In a case where the defendant says he is not guilty, this stage will help both the prosecutor and the defense to look for evidence and other documents to support their claims.
As stated earlier that the judge takes questioning the defendant, this is an interactive time where many challenges may happen. First, there may be a language barrier and this may lead to misunderstanding between the two parties. This will require a translator and this may not be effective. Sometimes although rarely, the defendant may not be willing to give any information and this may be difficult for the judge to arrive into any conclusions.
The best criminal case where this stage was applied is when an individual was charged with corruption, after he was arrested, he was taken to a courtroom and the judge informed him of the reason why he was before the court. The defendant presented his lawyer who stated that the defendant was not guilty of the charges put against him. He was released on bail and the case was to be heard after three months. The prosecutor handed them copies of statements recorded by individuals who reported him for corruption. These documents were to be used during the case hearing and both the prosecutor and the defense were to present their claims.
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