What steps are involved in processing a criminal case? Outlined here are the procedures that occur, from start to finish. But since not every case goes to trial, not all of the steps will be completed in every instance.
When a detective from the investigative division believes that a crime has been committed and that a specific person has committed that crime, the detective submits a warrant request to the prosecutor’s office requesting the prosecutor to authorize an arrest warrant.
Decision to Prosecute
The prosecutor determines whether a particular person should be charged with a crime and, if so, what the specific charge should be.
The detective takes the warrant authorization request before the District Court, and asks the court to issue an arrest warrant for the named person charging a specific crime. At a short hearing, the court must determine that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, and that the named person committed the crime. If it does, the court will issue an arrest warrant.
Once the warrant is issued, the defendant can be arrested. Once arrested and charged with a felony, the defendant appears in District Court for arraignment. At this arraignment, the defendant is given notice of the charge(s) and advised of his or her constitutional rights. The conditions and amount of bond are determined, and a date is set for preliminary examination.