|UNIT 81||Law and order|
When someone commits a crime [breaks the law and does something wrong / illegal / against the law], the police (note: plural) investigate [try to find out what happened and who is responsible]. If they find a suspect [a person who may have committed the crime], they question the person [ask questions]. If they are fairly sure the suspect committed the crime, they arrest that person [take him/her to the police station] and charge him/her with the crime [the police make an official statement that the suspect committed the crime]. The suspect may go to court for trial.
|In court, the prosecutor
[the lawyer for the government] must prove [provide facts to show
something is true] that the person charged with the crime (now called the
defendant) committed the crime; in other words, prove that the defendant
is guilty [not innocent]. The defense attorney [the
lawyer for the defendant] presents evidence showing that the defendant is
not guilty. The jury listens to all the evidence [information
about the crime, for and against the defendant] and then makes a decision.
If the defendant is convicted of the crime [the jury says "guilty"], the judge will give the sentence [the punishment]. For example, if a person is convicted of murder, the sentence may be many years in prison [a large building where people are locked in]. The defendant then becomes a prisoner and lives in a cell [a small room in a prison].
For crimes that are not so serious (often called minor offenses, e.g., illegal parking), the punishment is usually a fine [money you have to pay].