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What happens after someone is arrested?

Arrests are made after a police officer has either a warrant signed by a judge, or has witnessed a suspect commit a crime. Once arrested, the suspect is taken by the police officer to jail. There, the person is fingerprinted and photographed. The suspect is required to answer questions, and then is placed in a holding cell. Police have to give the suspect the chance to make phone calls within hours of the arrest. The suspect is allowed to contact a Chicago criminal lawyer, or friends/family members. The suspect is given a court hearing within 48 hours of being placed in custody. The person is allowed to meet with their Chicago criminal attorney before the hearing takes place.

Once the suspect is taken into the court room, the judge tells the suspect of the crime he/she is being charged with, and will ask for a plea. The suspect can tell the judge if they are guilty, not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, or if they plead no contest. Before the suspect enters a plea, he/she should speak to their Chicago criminal attorney.

Guilty plea’s are an admission of guilt, and the suspect will be held immediately responsible. With a plea of no contest, the suspect isn’t admitting guilty – but isn’t disputing the facts of the charges. If the suspect pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, then the suspect is placed under psychiatric supervision. If a plea of not guilty is placed, this forces a trial to occur and the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the crime occurred.

The suspect is given a chance at this point between a bench trial or a jury trial. If the suspect chooses a jury trial, then he/she is tried before a group of peers. The peers determine guilt or innocence. If the suspect pick bench trial, then they will be tried in front of a judge.The suspect should consult with their Chicago criminal attorney in order to determine which is the best option. What happens next will depend on the outcome of the trial. If the suspect is found innocent, then he/she is allowed to be released. If the suspect is found guilty, or if the suspect plead guilty, or plead no contest, then a sentencing hearing is held. Before this takes place, a judge review’s the suspect’s past criminal activity to determine whether there’s a track record or this is a first time action. This is taken into consideration when deciding a verdict. At the hearing, the judge will want to hear an opinion of the suspect from the friends, family members, and the victim of the crime. The judge then declares a verdict based on sentencing requirements, and evidence. Depending on the severity of the crime, the sentence can involve jail, monetary fines, or community service.