procedural criminal law | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction / Policing / Procedural Law

Procedural criminal law is the body of law that controls how the various agents and elements of the criminal justice system treat people.

Procedural criminal law (often shortened to just procedural law) refers to the set of rules and regulations that govern the processes and procedures involved in the criminal justice system. It outlines the rights of individuals accused of crimes, as well as the steps and procedures that law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges must follow during the investigation, arrest, trial, and sentencing phases of a criminal case.

Procedural criminal law is designed to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected throughout the criminal justice process. It lays out the steps that must be taken by law enforcement officials when investigating and apprehending suspects, including the process of obtaining warrants and conducting searches and seizures. It also outlines the requirements for arrest and detention, including the rights of suspects to be informed of the charges against them, to remain silent, and to have access to legal counsel.

Procedural criminal law also establishes the procedures that must be followed during the trial phase of a criminal case, including rules of evidence, rules of procedure, and the requirements for a fair trial. These procedures ensure that the accused are able to present their case effectively and that the proceedings are conducted fairly and impartially.

Additionally, procedural law lays out the procedures for sentencing and the rights of the convicted. This includes requirements for sentencing hearings, victim impact statements, and the right to appeal a conviction or sentence.

Procedural criminal law is an important component of the criminal justice system, as it ensures that the system operates in a fair and transparent manner. Establishing clear rules and procedures helps to prevent the abuse of power and protects the rights of all individuals involved in the criminal justice process.

Procedural criminal law also ensures that the criminal justice system is efficient and effective in carrying out its duties. Providing clear guidelines for law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges, helps to prevent mistakes and ensures that cases are handled in a timely and efficient manner.

Overall, procedural criminal law is an essential component of the criminal justice system, as it helps to ensure that the rights of all individuals are protected and that the system operates in a fair and transparent manner.

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Last Modified: 07/06/2021


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