Criminal charges are filed against defendants in the criminal justice system. It might surprise some people to know that the criminal justice system involves more than just the court. In fact, there are three broad entities that are part of this system. Understanding the role that each plays in the process can help you to be more informed about how the system works.
What entities are part of the criminal justice system?
There are three entities in the criminal justice system -- law enforcement, the court and corrections. Each of these plays a part in the cases as they move through the system. Law enforcement is the first step in the process because law enforcement officers investigate crimes so they can file charges with the court. The court is where defendants can enter a plea and move on with the resolution of their cases. If a defendant is found guilty, corrections gets involved. Corrections includes probation officers, correctional officers, parole officers and any other person who has an official duty with ensuring that the sentence is carried out as ordered.
What do all of these have in common?
Beside the fact that they are all part of the criminal justice system, these entities are all held to certain standards. These standards are in place to ensure that the defendant's rights are respected and protected throughout their journey in the criminal justice system.
If you are facing criminal charges, make sure that you know your rights. Making sure that your rights aren't violated is very important. If they are violated, you should learn how to take action about the violation.
Source: FindLaw, "How Does the Criminal Justice System Work?," accessed Feb. 19, 2016