A preliminary investigation is a process that takes place immediately after a crime has been committed, in which police or investigators determine whether there is sufficient evidence or cause to charge the defendant or suspect.
The first law enforcement on the scene are usually the ones to carry out any preliminary procedures and help to ensure the safety of law enforcement and citizens. The preliminary investigation often involves steps such as assessing the situation or resolving crime in progress. Afterwards, law enforcement determine if any additional services, such as medical or emergency assistance, are required. According to Legal Source, officers must then determine if a crime has been committed, and if so, what type of crime. Identifying suspects, witnesses and victims can assist officers in determining whether a crime has occurred.
After gathering evidence from the scene, officers must then determine if there is sufficient evidence or reason to arrest and charge any suspects. Officers often use eye-witness accounts, security device footage such as security camera videos or audio, and crime-scene evidence in order to identify and charge any suspected individuals. If there proves to be enough evidence to support a charge, law enforcement may arrest and charge the suspect, who then goes on trial.Learn More
A preliminary hearing determines whether there is enough evidence to force an individual to stand trial, but it does not determine guilt or innocence. According to Nolo, a preliminary hearing allows both the prosecution and the defense to outline their cases, although the defense is not obligated to present information.Full Answer >
A preliminary examination is a court hearing in which the prosecutor must prove to the judge that there is enough evidence and probable cause for a case to go to trial, according to Cornell University Law School. The hearing does not determine the guilt of the defendant.Full Answer >
When someone files a suit against a person to get a judgement, it means that the person who filed the suit, the plaintiff, feels they are owed money by the defendant. The plaintiff files a lawsuit with the court, then the judge decides whether a judgement against the defendant is warranted, according to Illinois Legal Aid.Full Answer >
Reasonable doubt is the legal measurement by which jurors are instructed to judge a defendant in a criminal case not guilty, according to Cornell University Law School. Reasonable doubt occurs when a rational person concludes that the prosecution in a court case has failed to produce sufficient evidence of guilt for every element of the crime of which the person is accused.Full Answer >