Protecting Individual Rights
In a criminal case, a court decides whether a person accused of breaking the law is guilty or not guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. In this type of case, a person who is accused of a crime may be arrested and committed to jail or released on bail. The case proceeds to an arraignment where probable cause is reviewed. The person accused, called the defendant, may be appointed an attorney. The defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. A court date is set for a trial. The trial takes place and the defendant is found guilty or innocent. This is called the verdict. If the verdict is guilty, the defendant may be appeal the verdict to the Court of Appeals or sometimes directly to the Supreme Court.