The United States has one of the best legal systems in the world. There aren’t many people that would argue that point. But, like all legal systems, it is complex and hard to follow. If you end up on the wrong side of the system, it will become a problem. Anyone that doesn’t understand the proceedings is already at a huge disadvantage.
Although you hope it never happens, there is a chance that it could happen. After all, how many people in jail now saw it coming? The answer is not too many because the majority of us don’t think we will ever commit a crime. Whether you think it will happen or not, it is always a good idea to get to grips with the nitty gritty of the law. That way, you will have a better chance of clearing your name.
Here are the essentials.
The start of any interrogation by the police always starts the same way – with questioning. It is important to note that this aspect of the process is completely voluntary. The police ask you to go to the station or for a moment of your time. They don’t force you to do anything with regards to questioning. Most people comply because it helps to clear them as a suspect. Unless there is a charge in the offing, you can ask them to leave at any time. Or, you can get up and leave at any time during the questioning process. Although it looks bad, it is a good idea to leave and get your head clear. Otherwise, you may say something that you regret.
Next, they will charge you with a crime if they have sufficient evidence. They need sufficient evidence because the court will throw out the case if none exists. Still, that doesn’t mean that they have a conviction. Police forces use this tactic to give them more time to find evidence that will stick. For example, they can hold you for forty-eight hours on suspicion or a thin trail of evidence. During that time, they will try and find out more about you and your timeline. Sometimes, they can hold you for longer. But, that is only if they can prove you are a threat to national security. They must read you your rights beforehand. If they don’t, your lawyer can file for the court to throw out the case.
You have the right for an attorney to be present at all times, even during questioning. Everyone knows this because they watch enough TV. But, the accused still don’t execute their constitutional right. They fear that asking for their attorney will somehow look bad. The officers in question will undoubtedly make it look that way, but that is only because they want to keep you in the dark. The longer you go without your lawyer, the more chance you have of making a mistake. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have one on retainer or if you don’t have the cash for a lawyer. The law states that they must find one for you, such as a public defender.
You Can Defend Yourself
If you think you are up to the job, you can represent yourself in court. Although it isn’t the best idea, it does give you leeway. Courts are much more sympathetic to sole defenders than they are lawyers and attorneys. To learn more, go to http://litigation.findlaw.com.
The Fifth Amendment
Again, this is another legal aspect that a lot of laymen know about thanks to Law and Order. Regardless of where you heard about it, consider your right to silence. Some people use it as a tactic so that they don’t say anything before their attorney arrives. After all, that is when you are your most vulnerable. Some even use it during the trial so as not to incriminate themselves.
The case moves to the court after the police file the charges. In the USA, the majority of charges are sorted by state courts. The states have devolution of power that allows them to use a legal precedent unlike any other in the country. The most common example is the death penalty, where some outlaw it and others don’t. However, federal courts also hear cases, and these courts have a lot of power. These cases tend to relate to the charge. A fraud case, for instance, is a federal case because it affects the government. On the whole, a case in federal court is more serious than one in a state court.
Judge And Jury
Regardless of the court, your case will be dealt with by a judge and a jury. The judge will oversee the trial while the jury will come to a decision on your guilt. It is very rare that a judge makes a ruling without the use of a jury. The good thing about a jury is that they aren’t biased. Normally, they won’t even know who you are, and they will have no ties. That means there is a good chance you can make them see your innocence.
Your Appeal Process
If you are found guilty, you do have the right to appeal. There might be evidence that the jury didn’t see that could help your cause. Even if there isn’t, it is always a good idea in case they see your case in a different light. You will need a specialist, and http://brianzeiger.com/practices/appeals-pennsylvania is a good place to start. Just like the rest of the law, this area is complex and requires an expert. An expert will walk you through the process and hopefully help you overturn the decision.
Their Appeal Process
Just like you, they can appeal a decision made by the courts. So, don’t count your chickens just yet if you are found guilty. The appeal might be successful, and you might face another trial. If they do appeal, make sure you are ready for the process. Again, you will need a very good attorney. But, you will also need to do your research. That way, there won’t be any surprise if there is an appeal against the verdict.