Week 1 indvidual project


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Week 1 indvidual project

  1. 1. Running Head: UNIT 1 INDIVIDUAL PROJECT 1 Unit 1 Individual Project Brittney Thom AIU Online
  2. 2. UNIT 1 INDIVIDUAL PROJECT 2 Police Officers play a very important role in the Criminal Justice System. The role of aPolice Officer is to above all else protect and serve the community when a crime has been or isbeing committed. When a crime has been or is being committed Police Officers are generally thefirst respond to the scene. “The duty of a police officer is to enforce the law, investigate thecrime that has been committed, apprehend the offender, reduce and prevent crime fromoccurring, maintain public order, ensure community safety, provide emergency and relatedcommunity services and protect fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.” (Schmalleger,F., 2012, chapter 1 page 10). Upon completion of the initial investigation the conducting officermay or may not make an arrest depending on witness testimony and/or probable cause. If anarrest is mad e the criminal is then taken into custody and booked, processed, and printed. Thecriminal is then placed in a holding facility where he or she will wait for an arraignment date.Police Officers are only involved with the criminal defendant during the investigative stage anduntil the criminal is proven guilty or not guilty of the crime.District Attorneys are appointed or elected officials that represent a designated communitydistrict, their duties are governed by the states law. A district Attorneys job is to review the factsof a case and then to determine if the criminal defendant should be charged and prosecuted forthe crime. After reviewing the case if the District Attorney determines that the defendant will becharged, they then file a complaint with the District Judge. The judge then signs a warrant for thearrest of the defendant and the defendant is booked and a preliminary hearing is scheduled. TheDistrict Attorney then begins an investigation to compile evidence and witness testimony to
  3. 3. UNIT 1 INDIVIDUAL PROJECT 3show the crime was indeed committed by the defendant being charged. Upon hearing the plea ofthe defendant ( guilty or not guilty) at the preliminary hearing the District Attorney can thendecide whether or not to begin the process of a plea bargain, either with the defendant or with thedefendants Counsel. In the event that a plea agreement is not reached the District Attorney mustthen began the process of setting up a trial to prove the defendants guilt. District Attorneys getinvolved from the time an arrest is made to the time that the defendants guilt or innocence canbe proven. I believe that it is a good idea for prosecutors to become involved in the investigationas soon as possible. Doing such allows them to become much more familiar with the case andaffords them a better chance as well as more time compile leads to help determine who haswitnessed the crime or to build a criminal profile on the defendant. The attorney representing the defendant is known as the Defense Counsel and thedefendant can either hire one or the courts can appoint one if the defendant cannot afford one.The role of the Defense Counsel is to defend the rights of the accused and prove beyond aresponsible doubt that the defendant is innocent. Defense Counsel can become involved in thecase against the defendant before indictment or arrest believes that he/she will be prosecuted fortheir crime/ actions. Once the arrest has been made it is the Defense Counsels job to file amotion and waiver for arraignment and for a discovery regarding the complaint that was filed tothe District Court Judge by the petitioning District Attorney. Defense Counsel can then requestthat the preliminary/arraignment hearing be waived and request that bail be set for the defendantas long as the client is not found to be a threat to society. Once the motion has been filed byDefense Counsel a hearing is set to grant the motion, thus allowing the District Attorney andDefense Counsel can began work on coming up with some sort of plea agreement. Nine out of
  4. 4. UNIT 1 INDIVIDUAL PROJECT 4ten criminal cases are resolved with a plea agreement made by the District Attorney and DefenseCounsel. Federal, State, and Local Judges are responsible for determining if the defendant that isbeing accused of the crime is guilty or innocent of crime he/she is being prosecuted for. Judgesare involved with a case from the date of the initial arrest. Judges are the ones that must sign andokay all warrants relevant to the case. Judges also have to hear evidence and testimony fromwitnesses that are relevant to the case. The judge also listens to the arguments regarding theinnocence of the defendant from the Defense Counsel. In some cases the defendant can choose totake his case to trail and then the evidence is presented to a jury of his peers and they areresponsible for determining the defendants innocence. The judge still reserves the power tooverrule a juries’ decision with enough circumstantial evidence.
  5. 5. UNIT 1 INDIVIDUAL PROJECT 5 References:Schmalleger, F., (2012) Criminal Justice: A brief Introduction (9th ed.), chapter 1 page 10 at:http://wow.coursemart.com/9781256667858