Steps Felony Case
violation of law
Bail (sometime set amount)
Guilty or Not Guilty
if Guilt Sentence
Almost always indicts everyone.
Will indict you if they have enough evidence that you committed the crime.
Motion for discovery
Defense asking the prosecutor for the evidence in the case.
90% end in a guilty plea, may not be original charge.
Without jury, verdict given by judge.
State must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
EVERY ELEMENT MUST BE PROVEN BEYOND THE REASONABLE DOUBT.
Up to the jury if they committed all the elements of the crime and if the prosecution has proven their case.
Clerk of court
On the bench that is raised as a sign of respect.
Fortified for safety.
Clerk of Court
Table or desk
Almost always next to the witness stand.
Not always boxed but most of the time. Usually more seats then necessary.
Prosecution table/Defense Table
Never go to the others table, it is a sign of disrespect.
Separated from the rest of the court by a "bar". Hence the lawyers pass the bar.
Who has discretion?
Have the most power.
gets to decide if someone gets arrested or not.
determine whether diversion programs are an option
Decides to prosecute or not after the initial charge.
may dismiss the case
Can request maximum sentence.
Discretion by Solicitors.
Solicitors Legal Judgements
believes there is insufficient evidence to convict.
Solicitors Office Policy
The policy set by the leader of the solicitors office, stating what cases cannot be dismissed or plead, usually because of political influences.
Solicitors Personal Philosophy.
Own belief on what gets or not gets reduced or bargained.
Court Room Participants
1) Judge (even if there is a guilty plea)y
2) Prosecutor (has Burden of proof)
3) Defense Attorney
5) Court Security
-GSC Sheriff Dep
-Mun city police
-GSC-Serves the Juries needs.
7) Clerk of Court
-Handles court paperwork
-Writes down sentence, final decisions are recorded
8) Court Reporter
-records everything said during trial.
9) Defendant (not part of work group
-affect the entire criminal process
-circuit court Judges travel
-pressured to keep cases moving.
-a lot of continuances
-people come to court late.
-no indictment, lost paperwork
Trying to get the judge that may benefit their client.
Advantage of the Prosecutor bc they pick when to take the trial to court.
Appointment of Judges
-Governor at state level
-Federal judges are by the president and its for life.
Elected by public
-nominating committee and appointed by the legislature.
Traditional Judges Makeup
upper middle class
-Judge should make ruling independent of what the public thinks
-Protects the judge
-Ruling should be by law
-Cannot reduce salary
-Cant be fired unless they:
---Misconduct in office
---unable to perform their duties.
Reasons for judges removal
--Improperly influencing an outcome
--Sexual Scandal (usually family court)
--Usually due to old age.
Federal Judge Impeachment
2/3 of the senate votes
Most powerful in workgroup
Federal Prosecutors work for the US AG (chief) Federal crimes.
State Prosecutors or Assistant AG work for state AG (chief of LE)
County/Solicitors chief of county.
County/Solicitors chief of county.
high turn over
many politicians start as a prosecutor
CONTROLS GRAND JURY
does not consider an acquittal as a win.
success is getting a good deal for client
Weakest in the courtroom workgroup.
Negatives of a defense attorney
difficult to find a paying client
-clients are usually appointed counsel.
Need a great reputation to get paying clients.
Consideration in Defense attorney fees
seriousness of crime
amount of time the case will take
Cases should be dismissed after one year of being filed.
Right to an attorney
IF HE CANNOT AFFORD ONE ONLY
Represents 70% of all defendants
can bill but never gets paid.
-in county that does not have public defender system.
-usually done on lowest bid.
List of private attorneys at a given time, court appoints them usually out of a conflict of interest.
-Usually has a cap of $3500.00, they can try to bill the government for excess fee's.
-Usually problematic because they may not specialize in criminal defense. Has to find another lawyer to take the case.
Lawyer-client relationship in an appointed case.
hostile due to lack of trust
Attorney has the same ethics as the prosecution
defense attorney cannot be said in court
Results of a polygraph
cannot help client lie, but cannot stop him from lying.
-93% state inmates are male
-more likely come from a divorced home.
-usually abused as a child
-ONLY SMALL GROUP OF CAREER CRIMINALS
-sometimes don't cooperate with LE, lowers chance of prosecution.
-lack understanding of law
-have to wait to be called into court, left sitting and bored.
-feel like a criminal during cross examination.
-1/2 THE CRIMES ARE NOT REPORTED
-1/2 VIOLENT CRIMES KNOW ONE ANOTHER
-85% OF CDV CASES ARE WOMEN VICTIMS
Victims Rights Movement
Results of VRM
Crises intervention Groups
Educates the victims on the process of law
VICTIMS BILL OF RIGHTS
VICTIMS ADVOCACY GROUPS
-NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF VICTIMS ASSISTANCE (NOVA)
-DOES NOT PAY FOR PROPERTY
-MAY PAY FOR SOME LOST WAGES
-WILL NOT PAY IF THE VICTIM AND PERP ARE RELATED.