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jamest
jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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Discuss the stages (investigative, prosecutorial) at which ...

Customer Question

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?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  jamest replied 6 years ago.
When do you think the prosecutor's office should become involved in a case (pre-arrest or post-arrest)? either, if the officer has grounds under state law to make an arrest, he may do so without consulting the state. If there is not grounds for the officer to make the arrest on the spot, he then files a report with the prosecutor who determines if there is probable cause. depending on the offense and case they could file charges, called an information, with the court and the judge would decide weather or not to issue a warrant for an arrest, or place the question before a grand jury who will decide weather to issue an indictment, if they do, then a warrant for arrest will be issued.
Do you think involvement by a prosecutor in the original stages of an investigation is a good idea? depends on the case. In some cases the officer does not know the exact law on a matter, and they may at the scene, call the prosecutor and ask what the law is on the matter. If it is a complex case this is good, because the officers wont waste time arresting someone only to have the charges dropped because the arrest was unlawful or no crime was committed. However if the case is very simple, involving the prosecutor early is unnecessary and only makes an already slow process take longer.
Can a defense attorney ever become involved in a case prior to indictment or arrest?
The defense attorney can be involved at any time. A lot of people retain a lawyer as soon as they become a suspect, like in missing persons cases where someone is suspected but has not been arrested yet, a lot of times the person will get a lawyer who can advise them how to act during the investigation and to make sure they do not get tricked into giving up any rights or doing or saying anything that would incriminate them.
When does a judge or magistrate's function begin? In addition, briefly discuss the sources of criminal law. The judicial process can begin after an arrest at a 1st appearance where bail is decided, it can begin with the state presenting an information or indictment to the judicial authority for them to determine weather or not to issue a warrant for an arrest. Or the judicial official can instigate charges on it's own such as matters of contempt. before statutory law was developed, there was a "common law" system, which we have still today where there is no stature regarding the matter. the common law was basically a set of principles and crimes which everything was not all written down on paper, but was practices. an example of this which still exists is the year and a day rule, which states if you inflict injury on a person and they die as a result, a year and a day later that your act is not considered "causation" meaning in the eyes of court, you did not cause the death. Now in the modern era, most crimes and rules are set by the legislature, as a code, statute, ordinance, ect. Statutes override common law, many states specifically have rejected the year and a day rule and it does not apply there. the common law system was better when the legislative body meet rarely, in england, which is where the roots of our system stem from. Before the mid 1700's, with the brief exception of the British republic, the parliament confined only at the king or queens request and could be dismissed by the king or queens order, so there was no permanent body to make laws like we have today, thus the common law made sure people generally knew what the law was, even though it want in paper for them to read.
How does constitutional law affect the development of the criminal code? As criminal laws are written by the legislative body the courts often receive challenges to weather they conform to the requirement of the constitution. an unconstitutional statute is invalid. The due process clause has been expanded to mean that a person must be made aware by law of exactly what they can and can not do, and what the potential punishments are. Due process basically means fair legal proceedings, it has been determined unfair to a person to not adequately inform them of this information. Thus statutes may not be vague, they must be direct. The constitution also provides which matters are matters of federal jurisdiction or state, neither can infringe on the others right, except where specified in the constitution.
What are common law crimes as opposed to actions criminalized by statute? wow i just went over this, i wish i read the entire page first. common law crimes again are crimes which are generally recognized to be crimes by the courts, they also include rules of evidence, and administrative procedures. Criminal statutes spell out exactly what is prohibited and exactly what the penalties can be. statutory law supersedes common law, and today 95% or more of the law in most states is in fact statutory law, some elements of the common law may remain in force where there is no statute on a matter, but that is rare. there was a common law rule that required the defendant to know that the "victim" of a statutory rape was a minor, now that rule is not in place and most states the fact of weather it was knowingly done is irrelevant. in most states the "victim" could have presented photo identification, birth certificates, signed statements, all saying that the "victim" was of legal age, even if the victim looks of age, and states they are, and shows documentation, it is irrelevant if she lied, looks can be deceiving and documents and licenses can be fake, it is always the older partner who is guilty or in some cases always the male partner. the supreme court has held it to be constitutional to punish a 15 year old male for statutory rape of a 17 year old female.



hope these are adequate answers. thanks.

jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience: Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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