Americas Courts and the Criminal Justice System

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On July 27, 2012, Noah Udell snatched an I-Phone from the hands of Erika Silva. When she screamed that her I-Phone was snatched, two good Samaritans chased after him and tackled him. Udell was chase by the good samaritans, getting away several times before they finally caught him and he was arrested by the police. Udell stated that he was having a manic episode at the time of the crime (Italiano and Gregorian, 2012). Udell would be arrested for the crime. The prosecutor will get information about this crime and decide whether to charge Udell with a felony or a misdemeanor, and what charges to bring. Assuming that Udell is charged with a felony, which he probably would be because snatching an I-Phone from somebody’s hands would be considered robbery, within 24 hours, he will have to make a first appearance in front of the judge. This first appearance will be the first chance for the judge to read the charges facing the individual and will give the individual a chance to offer a plea of guilty or not guilty. Virtually all of these individuals enter a plea of not guilty at this first appearance. The judge will then give the individual a date to enter a more formal plea of guilty or not guilty, called an arraignment, which will occur either after a preliminary hearing, where the judge hears evidence presented by the prosecutor and the defense attorney, or the charges go through a grand jury. Moreover, at this hearing, the bond is set (Neubauer, 2008). In a preliminary hearing, the judge decides if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, the defendant is given an arraignment date. Alternatively, if there is not enough evidence that there was probable cause that a crime was committed and the defendant committed it, the judge may dismiss the charges.