Various trail procedures (including pre-trial motions)
- upon arrest of a suspect. booking, and bail (or no bail)
- 1) arraignment - charges are read against the person, judge informs them of their rights, fixes bail, asks them to enter their plea (usually guilty, not guilty, or no contest), and sets date for preliminary hearing
- 2) Preliminary Hearing - (or grand jury in high profile cases)
- Indictment occurs - a formal accusation of the offense. court hears facts and decides whether there is enough facts to support an indictment
- 3)a 2nd arraignment is done. and a plea is entered. (not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere) or the defendant may choose to stand mute. a guilty or Nolo contendere may bypass trial, but the court has the option of refusing the plea and forcing a not-guilty plea
- 4) Trail
- 5) verdict
- 6) sentencing
- 7) appeal
Legally acceptable pleas
Nolo Contendere - guilt, but without admission of guilt
not guilty by reason of insanity
importance and characteristics of pretrial preparation
Pretrial preparations lay the foundation for sound courtroom testimony
a review of all pertinent materials is preparatory to the nest pretrial step. the pretrial conference.
Testifying in court including creating a favorable impression
- Only testimony that is relevant, material, and competent will be allowed into evidence. either the defense counsel or the judge may object to testimony that fails to conform to one of the three categories.
- a witness must restrict conversation to answering questions.
- Creating a favorable impression:1) personal appearance is very important in terms of perception and credibility and reliability. may be suit, may be uniform, varies from prosecutor opinion.
- 2) should not converse with others (with exception of the prosecutor) in reference to the testimony. any conversation with defense should be avoided.
- 3) create a professional demeanor by being attentive to the proceedings.
- 4) first impressions are important. appear calm and professional in taking the oath and initially occupying the witness chair
what to do, and what not to do on the witness stand.
during direct examination, a serious, interested attitude should be maintained.
2) should not answer so quickly
as to create the impression of a staged arrangement between prosecutor and witness
- 3)questions should be answered in a manner that is respectful to the attorneys, yet firm and direct.
- 4) when an objection is raised, the officer should cease to speak and wait for the judge to rule on the objection.
- 5)answers should be clear, and firm. slang expressions, humor, or nonverbal affirmations or denials (such as head movement) should always be avoided.
- 6) provide as much relevant details during testimony as possible
the historical and contemporary issues surrounding eyewitness testimony
research shows that when eyewitness testimony conflict, the testimony that provides the most detail is perceived to be the most credible by jury members