Criminal Law

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Overview of due process in Criminal Cases

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Criminal Law

  1. 1. Criminal LawFor use with section 16.2
  2. 2. I. CRIMESA. Penal Codes (GR#1: What is the Penal Code?)  each state’s written criminal law code  establishes classifications (degrees of seriousness) for certain crimes  sets penalties for types of crimes
  3. 3. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 1) Misdemeanors 2) Felonies
  4. 4. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 1) Misdemeanors  convicted persons may be fined or sentenced to one year or less  repetition of certain misdemeanors (such as DUI) will become felonies
  5. 5. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 1) Misdemeanors a) Victimless crimes  crimes against morality  difficult to enforce since the victim is the perpetrator  examples: unauthorized gambling, use of illegal drugs
  6. 6. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 2) Felonies  “more serious” crimes
  7. 7. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 2) Felonies a) Crimes against people  violent or potentially violent crimes i. Examples  murder  manslaughter  assault  rape  kidnapping
  8. 8. I. CRIMESB. Types of Crimes 2) Felonies b) Crimes against property  most common type of crime i. Examples  larceny – taking of property unlawfully  vandalism – deliberate destruction of property  fraud – taking property by dishonest means or misrepresentation
  9. 9. I. CRIMESC. Penalties (GR#2: What are the four functions of criminal penalties?) 1) Functions of Penalties a) Justice  Criminal to pay for an offense against a victim or society
  10. 10. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 1) Functions of Penalties b) Safety to society  Keep dangerous criminals off the street
  11. 11. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 1) Functions of Penalties c) Deterrent to others  by seeing the severity of punishments it will keep people from engaging in criminal acts
  12. 12. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 1) Functions of Penalties d) Correction  many states call their prison system “Department of Corrections”  states seeks to rehabilitate criminals while in prison so they will not commit a crime when they return to society
  13. 13. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 2) Sentencing  because every case has different circumstances, sentences may be very different
  14. 14. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 2) Sentencing a) Indeterminate sentencing  judge gives a minimum and a maximum length for the sentence
  15. 15. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 2) Sentencing b) Parole  offers a lighter sentence to those criminals in prison who show that they have been rehabilitated i. Opponents’ Arguments  parole offers criminals a shorter sentence than the law states  some believe that a criminal has not had the chance to fully pay their debt to society
  16. 16. I. CRIMESC. Penalties 2) Sentencing c) Mandatory Sentencing (GR#3: For what reason do some people criticize mandatory sentencing?)  judges must impose whatever sentence is required i. Opponents’ Arguments  Some argue that in some cases a judge must impose more severe penalties than the circumstances of the case justifies
  17. 17. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?A. ArrestB. HearingC. Indictment*D. Arraignment Note: This is the order IF the person isE. Trial arrested at the scene of the crime. IfF. Verdict there is first an investigation before an arrest warrant is issued then theG. Sentencing indictment happens before the arrest.H. Appeal
  18. 18. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?A. Arrest 1) Reading of Rights  this is the result of the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona  a defendant must know his legal protections before he is taken to the precinct and asked any questions  the right to remain silent  the right to have an attorney present during questioning  right to a court-appointed attorney if the defendant can not afford one  the right to stop answering questions at any time
  19. 19. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?A. Arrest 2) Booking (GR#4: What happens when a person is booked?)  when the defendant is brought to the police station and their information is processed  A lawyer is not required at this time because it is not specifically a criminal procedure, only an administrative procedure  includes fingerprinting, photographing, “pat down”, and even strip search in some places  defendant may call his lawyer at this time
  20. 20. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?B. Hearing  defendant appears in court a few hours after being booked  the prosecution must show the judge that there is probable cause for believing the defendant committed the crime (protect of habeas corpus)
  21. 21. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?C. Indictment  formal accusation of a suspect  If there is an investigation leading to an arrest, many states use a grand jury to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest  If the person is arrested at the scene of the crime the preliminary hearings will serve as the indictment
  22. 22. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?D. Arraignment  the defendant is presented with the charges and is asked to make a plea
  23. 23. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?D. Arraignment 1) Plea Options (GR#5: What are three pleas a defendant can make at an arraignment?) a) Not Guilty  defendant states that he is not the perpetrator of the crime  bail is set and is based on the seriousness of the crime and what risk there is of the defendant returning to court at his trial date  the case continues
  24. 24. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?D. Arraignment 1) Plea Options b) Guilty  defendant admits to the crime  the judge must next determine a punishment
  25. 25. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?D. Arraignment 1) Plea Options c) No Contest  the defendant does not admit guilt but does not want to fight the prosecution  this has much the same effect as a guilty plea
  26. 26. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?D. Arraignment 1) Plea Options d) Plea Bargain  this occurs when the prosecution offers the defendant the opportunity to agree to plea guilty a lesser charge  this option, when available, reduces the seriousness of the crime and eliminates a long drawn-out trial  this ensures the defendant will be punished for the crime
  27. 27. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?E. Trial 1) Lots of work for the lawyers  lawyers interview witnesses, studies laws affecting the case, gathers as much information as possible
  28. 28. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?E. Trial 2) Jury selection  a large pool of potential jurors is selected at random  lawyers from both sides will select jurors based on how biased they believe the jurors will be
  29. 29. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?E. Trial 3) Opening Statements  lawyers for both sides will set an outline for their case
  30. 30. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?E. Trial 4) Presentation of Cases (GR#6: What process do lawyers use to make a witness’ testimony seem unreliable or untrue?)  each side will present evidence, call and question witnesses, hear testimony, cross-examine opposing witnesses
  31. 31. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?E. Trial 5) Closing statements  each lawyer will highlight the case they presented in order to sway the jury
  32. 32. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?F. Verdict 1) To find the defendant guilty  the jury must believe that there be enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty  most states require an unanimous decision
  33. 33. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?F. Verdict 2) Acquittal  is a “not guilty” vote  the defendant is immediately released
  34. 34. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?F. Verdict 3) Hung Jury (GR#7: What happens when a jury cannot decide on a verdict?)  occurs when after several days, the jury can not reach a unanimous decision  this does not provide a guilt or not guilty  the case may be retried until a verdict is reached
  35. 35. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?G. Sentencing  when the defendant is found guilty  in some states, the jury decides the penalty  this is when the defendant decides how long they must spend in prison
  36. 36. II. WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRIMINALCASE?H. Appeal  a guilty defendant may appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judge had made errors during the trial

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