Originally Posted by chiefsfootballfan
well, if an officer files them, they are in fact charges. damn dude, you need t o be spoonfed every bite.
That is wrong.
1) Police or Sheriff files a report which is passed to prosecutor.
2) Prosecutor determines what if any charges should be filed by the state.
3)For felony charges, a Preliminary Hearing is held in which a judge determines if there is sufficient evidence to probable cause to bind the defendant over for trial. (In some jurisdictions that determination is made by a Grand Jury).
4) At trial a jury or judge (defendant's choice in most jurisdictions) makes a determination of fact as to guilt or innocence.
5) Upon a finding of guilt, the judge determines the sentence (death sentence cases often require a secondary jury finding that the death sentence is warranted).