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Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

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You are a peace officer trainee assigned to your first post of duty. Your supervisor calls you into his office and tells you that he needs you to prepare content for a presentation at a local university for students in a criminal justice program. He explains that the public information officer (PIO), the individual previously assigned to give this presentation, is testifying in court and cannot leave. He further informs you that you will need to put the content together from scratch as he has never done this before.

The content is to be an overview of the criminal justice system and a description of these roles:

police officer or federal agent
district attorney's office or the United States Attorney's Office
defense counsel
federal, state, and local judges/magistrates
Discuss the stages (investigative, prosecutorial) at which each of the above interacts with a criminal defendant. Specify the roles of each and explain the process by which a suspect becomes a criminal defendant. Consider the following questions for your information:

When do you think the prosecutor's office should become involved in a case (pre-arrest or post-arrest)?
Do you think involvement by a prosecutor in the original stages of an investigation is a good idea?
Can a defense attorney ever become involved in a case prior to indictment or arrest?
When does a judge or magistrate's function begin? In addition, briefly discuss the sources of criminal law.
How does constitutional law affect the development of the criminal code?
What are common law crimes as opposed to actions criminalized by statute?

Please re-post and include the answer or response you have come up with so far. Teachers here will not do your homework for you, but we are happy to point you in the right direction and give you feedback on your own thinking.



  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System -

    I think that a PROSECUTOR becomes involved in a case before the suspect is even arrested.

  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System -

    can a defense law ever involed in case proirto arrest

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