Criminal Procedure Essay

1359 words - 5 pages

The criminal justice process is a very intrinsic system. The procedures that are followed are different for state and federal cases. It is made up of checks and balances that ensures everyone due process while they are dealing with the system. This paper will discuss federal case procedure, the protections that are given under the constitution, the chronological process from arrest to appeal, as well as future changes to improve the process.
Wright states “criminal procedure's roots are found in the Bill of Rights, which addresses fundamental principles such as protection against unreasonable search and seizure, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, excessive bail, the right to a jury trial, effective counsel, and confrontation of witnesses” (2013). The rules of criminal procedure must be followed by everyone including the police, defense lawyers, the suspects, the judges, the witnesses, and the victims. The procedures must be followed while investigating, apprehending, and processing. It would be unethical not to give a person the rights that are guaranteed to them. To not follow criminal procedure is not only a violation of the law but it is morally wrong and unjust.
The process begins with the arrest. Arrest is considered a seizure of a person. The Fourth Amendment is the amendment that protects people from unreasonable search and seizure, but our text states “It does not, however, protect people from all intrusion into their privacy” (Wright, 2013, 9.1). Therefore there are many circumstances where the police may legally conduct a search without a search warrant. Custody can be obtained voluntary or by force and is the response to criminal charges based on probable cause. Probable cause is sufficient proof that would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed. This is the time when the Miranda rights must be read.
Miranda v. Arizona is the 1966 case where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police officers must advise suspects of their right to remain silent and right to an attorney prior to arrest and custodial interrogation. The statement protects a person from self – incrimination, saying something that can later be used against you in a court of law. That is when you can invoke your Miranda rights by remaining silent or asking for an attorney. The police officer must read the accused their Miranda warnings prior to custodial interrogation by law enforcement. Wright stated “the Miranda warnings are not complicated; a number of factors could render a waiver invalid. Language barriers, mental defects, age, hearing and speech impairments, and even extreme intoxication might prevent a person from knowingly waiving his or her rights” ( 2013, 12.4) The interrogation must stop once the person invokes his or her rights. An article in the Washington Post stated “By placing the decision to speak squarely in the suspect's hands, Miranda ensures a fairer process, one that leads to more accurate outcomes and promotes...

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