John's Self-Incrimination: Police Protocols & 5th Amendment Rights - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-11-15
John's Self-Incrimination: Police Protocols & 5th Amendment Rights - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Government Police Constitution
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 968 words
9 min read


According to the Legal Information Institute (1992), self-incrimination or self-inculpation underscores the act of exposing oneself to the criminal prosecution or implicating oneself in a crime. In the case of John, who was already in custody, once he started voluntarily incriminating himself, the police ought to have followed specific procedures. First, the police were required to alert John of his right to an attorney then alert him of his constitutional protection in the Fifth Amendment that protects him from being forced to perform acts to generate evidence that may be incriminating. According to Digital History (2019), the police were then to reveal to John on his Miranda Rights, which encompass the right to remain silent, anything he says would be used against him in a court of law, right to an attorney. And also that an attorney would be provided for him when he cannot afford one, all to protect him against self-incrimination. The police were then to give him a document to sign, an indication that he confessed with the full knowledge of his legal rights (Inbau, 1937).

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Procedural Steps that Police Should Perform Following Arrest and Interview of a Suspect

The police were to use the minimum amount of force in making the legal arrest as universally protected in the Us Constitution to protect themselves as they bring the suspect into police custody. They were to use handcuffs or place the arrestee in a police cruiser. They were to tell the suspect the reason for arrest and read for them the Miranda Rights following the arrest and before interrogation to start questioning right away (Pantekoek, 2020). That was to ensure that any information that suspects volunteers could be used against them. The suspect would then be booked upon arrest, and the police would ask basic questions on personal information before trial and arraignment.

Preliminary Hearing vs. Grand Jury Proceeding in Establishing Causes of Felony

Preliminary hearing underlies the aspect of the prosecutor calling witnesses to testify and typically produces physical shreds of evidence. The prosecutor also determines whether the evidence is sufficient and subsequently moves ahead with the charges against the suspect or dismissing the case or reducing the felony charge. According to the United States Department of Justice (2015), the preliminary hearing is like a trail whereby the judge decides whether or not the defendant is guilty and whether the evidence is enough for the defendant to stand trial. Grand jury, on the other hand, underscores whether an individual needs to be charged or indicted for a particular crime and majorly happens on serious crime. And it is one of the forts procedures a criminal trial and generally conducted in complete secrecy.

Conversely, grand jury and preliminary hearings are related since the courts use preliminary hearings before the criminal trials (Robinson, 1976). Preliminary hearings are also used to determine whether the evidence is enough, in the indictment of a criminal suspect and probable causes, all during the grand juries. Also, at times, the preliminary hearings may precede grand juries.

Issues Considered by a Judge in Setting Bond

When setting a bond for John, the judge ought to put some critical issues into consideration. The judge would first consider John's past criminal record, which in this case, John has none, thereby lowering the bail amount. Similarly, the judge would consider the seriousness of the crime, which, in this case, was shoplifting, which is not a very serious crime, thus commanding a lower bail (Mukherji, 2014). Additionally, the judge would examine the defender’s ties to the community, which may be unfavorable for John since he does not have legal status in America, and all his family resides in his home country. Finally, the judge would examine the defender's potential flight risk. In that case, John may most likely flee the jurisdiction before the completion of the case since he is not an official resident of the US. And also because all his family members are in his home country (Mukherji, 2014). Finally, the judge would consider the defender’s ability to pay bail, which in this case, John is unable to pay bail.

Arraignment and what Occur in its Duration

According to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (2019), an arraignment underscores the initial stage of the courtroom proceedings of the courtroom following the arrest, booking, and the initial phases of the bail. During the arraignment process, the person charged with crimes summoned before a criminal court judge who reads the criminal charge(s) against the defendant, asks the defendant if he has an attorney or requires the assistance of an attorney appointed by the court. The defendant is also asked how she or he pleads to the criminal charges as guilty or not guilty, whether to alter with the amount of bail and is made aware of the date for future proceedings like a trial or preliminary hearing.


Digital History (2019). Miranda v Arizona. Digital History.

Inbau, F. (1937). Self-incrimination. What can an accused person be compelled to do? Journalof Criminal Law and Criminology.28(2), pp.261-292.

Legal Information Institute (1992). Self-incrimination. Cornell Law School.

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (2019). What Happens at an Arraignment? Mass LegalHelp.

Mukherji, A, (2014).7 Key factors in setting bail. Find Law.

Pantekoek, K. (2020). Procedures must the police follow while making an arrest? Find Law.

Robison, J. (1976). The determination of probable cause in Illinois- grand jury or preliminaryhearing. Loyola University of Chicago Law School.7(4), pp. 931-948.

United States Department of Justice. (2015). Criminal procedures.US Attorney’s Office, Districtof Minnesota.

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