My research indicates that that the current legal system is characterized by notice, notice, and, uh, notice. When the IRS comes a-callin’, their first act is to send you a notice. So far as I can tell, virtually all civil causes of action (especially if initiated by the “government”) start with a notice.
Procedural due process includes: 1) Notice; and 2) Opportunity to be Heard. While true crimes (like murder or robbery) cannot be said to start with notice, I suspect that most penal offenses (which are of a civil nature with attached criminal penalties) probably start with notice.
As I’ve explained in other articles dealing with notice (see, http://adask.wordpress.com/category/notice/; especially, http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/notes-on-notice-and-procedural-due-process/#more-88 and http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/notes-on-notice-procedural-due-process-2/#more-129) it appears that a notice need not present or allege all facts or law relevant to a particular claim. The notice must merely provide sufficient facts or law to put the recipient “on inquiry”. I.e., the notice must merely be sufficient to cause the recipient to ask questions.