The U.S. Constitution protects basic rights through the criminal justice process. The Government Cannot Violate Your Constitutional Rights. As a citizen of the United States, you have constitutional protections that are very important.
The government cannot violate your constitutional rights at any time during the criminal justice process. In general, the term criminal justice process includes all proceedings and practically everything that occurs from the time a person is suspected of committing a crime, through the prosecution, until the case is terminated. This includes formal arrest, preliminary hearings, grand jury indictments, arraignment, and trial. If a person is convicted at trial, the criminal justice process can continue during the appeals process.
One of the most fundamental functions of any civilized society is the protection of its citizens against criminal victimization. In the United States, the primary responsibility to protect innocent people from those who would harm them lies with the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system involves many components that are reviewed in this section. The effectiveness of this system is directly related to the proper balance of rights, roles and responsibilities of the various participants within the system.
The rights of those accused of crimes are protected elsewhere in the Constitution. For example, Article I affirms the right to a writ of habeas corpus, a court order that requires a judge to assess whether there are sufficient grounds to keep a person in jail. However, the broadest protections are found in Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 8.The juvenile court admissions department or the prosecutor may ask the juvenile court to waive the jurisdiction of the criminal court. A new VIS approach is being used in jurisdictions operating under a restorative justice framework.
For statistics on this topic, see —Criminal SentencesFederal Justice Judgments and Penalties View Flowchart Detail. In some states and at the federal level, under certain circumstances, prosecutors have the discretion to bring criminal charges against minors directly in criminal court or proceed through the juvenile justice process. The prosecution of juvenile offenders is not completely different from criminal prosecution of adults, but there are crucial differences. From its inception, the ACLU was at the forefront of the movement to establish constitutional norms in the criminal justice system and to protect against abuses of power by law enforcement.
However, victims of crime are involved in the entire process, and many law enforcement agencies have programs that focus on helping victims. This section analyzes the dynamics of this balance between the various agencies and professionals within the criminal justice system, and how the victim of a crime figures in these dynamics. The National Centre for Victims of Crime, through a project sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime entitled Focus on the Future, has identified nine core components of an effective criminal justice-based victim assistance program. The table summarizes the most common events in criminal and juvenile justice systems, including entry into the criminal justice system, trial and trial preparation services, adjudication, sentencing and penalties, and corrections.
Victims of crime deserve rights and services within the criminal justice system that begin when they report a crime to the police and continue through all criminal justice and prison processes. Municipalities and counties further define their criminal justice systems through local ordinances that prohibit local agencies responsible for criminal justice prosecution that were not established by the State. Without such participation, the criminal justice process cannot serve the citizens it seeks to protect. In addition, victims may need assistance in assisting and participating in court proceedings, protection from intimidation and harm, basic guidance to the criminal justice system and its appropriate role within it, and other services and interventions that are described in detail in other chapters, such as obtaining warrants restraint and file victim impact statements.
Again, victim advocates should keep in mind that the primary function of the prosecutor is the successful prosecution of criminal cases. . .