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Dynamics of the Criminal Justice System MN Victim Assistance Academy Presenter: Kelly Nicholson.

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Presentation on theme: "Dynamics of the Criminal Justice System MN Victim Assistance Academy Presenter: Kelly Nicholson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dynamics of the Criminal Justice System MN Victim Assistance Academy Presenter: Kelly Nicholson

2 Learning Objectives Debunk the “Law and Order” CJS we’ve all come to know Debunk the “Law and Order” CJS we’ve all come to know Understand how a case gets processed through the system Understand how a case gets processed through the system Identify how the system and its players impact victims Identify how the system and its players impact victims

3 What is it? Our society’s method of addressing crime and promoting public safety. Our society’s method of addressing crime and promoting public safety. Prevent and respond to crime Prevent and respond to crime Identify, apprehend, and prosecute persons who commit crimes Identify, apprehend, and prosecute persons who commit crimes Incarcerate and supervise convicted offenders with efforts to rehabilitate and hold them accountable Incarcerate and supervise convicted offenders with efforts to rehabilitate and hold them accountable

4 There is no single set of criminal justice procedures uniformly throughout the United States. There is no single set of criminal justice procedures uniformly throughout the United States. The criminal laws of a state are limited to those offenses which occur in their entirety or in part within that state. The federal criminal law has a territorial reach that extends through the U.S. and its territories. The criminal laws of a state are limited to those offenses which occur in their entirety or in part within that state. The federal criminal law has a territorial reach that extends through the U.S. and its territories.

5 Seven key phases Law Enforcement Law Enforcement Prosecution Prosecution Judiciary and courts Judiciary and courts Probation Probation Institutional corrections Institutional corrections Parole Parole Appellate courts Appellate courts

6 Law Enforcement Different levels: federal, state, local Different levels: federal, state, local First responders First responders Gatekeepers Gatekeepers Three primary functions: Three primary functions: Protect life and property Protect life and property Prevent crime Prevent crime Apprehend offenders Apprehend offenders Refer cases to prosecutors Refer cases to prosecutors

7 Investigations Once a report is made to police, they must: Once a report is made to police, they must: Investigate Investigate Interviews: suspect, victim, witnesses Interviews: suspect, victim, witnesses 911 calls 911 calls Photographs Photographs Forensic evidence Forensic evidence Determine Probable Cause (PC) Determine Probable Cause (PC) Whether a crime was actually committed Whether a crime was actually committed If so, is there sufficient information identifying who committed the crime If so, is there sufficient information identifying who committed the crime

8 Arrest Taking a person into custody for the purpose of charging them with a crime. Taking a person into custody for the purpose of charging them with a crime. Must have P.C. Must have P.C. If not arrested immediately, can later with an arrest warrant If not arrested immediately, can later with an arrest warrant What happens when an arrest is made? What happens when an arrest is made? 48 hr rule 48 hr rule Miranda warning Miranda warning Credit Credit Booking Booking

9 Prosecutors Different levels: Different levels: Attorney General (federal and state) Attorney General (federal and state) County County City City Primary role is successful prosecution of a case, representing the interests of the state Primary role is successful prosecution of a case, representing the interests of the state Not the victim’s attorney Not the victim’s attorney

10 Charging Process Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Nature of crime and severity level determine where the case is sent Nature of crime and severity level determine where the case is sent Misdemeanors/gross misdemeanors=city Misdemeanors/gross misdemeanors=city Some gross misdemeanors/felonies/child victims/juvenile offenders=county Some gross misdemeanors/felonies/child victims/juvenile offenders=county Attorney is the only one with authority to make decision Attorney is the only one with authority to make decision

11 Charging cont. Attorneys are ethically bound to ONLY charge cases where there is a strong likelihood of a conviction at trial, which means they have to prove a case Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Attorneys are ethically bound to ONLY charge cases where there is a strong likelihood of a conviction at trial, which means they have to prove a case Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Charging philosophy Charging philosophy

12 Crime “Crime” means conduct which is prohibited by statute and for which the actor may be sentenced to imprisonment, with or without a fine. “Crime” means conduct which is prohibited by statute and for which the actor may be sentenced to imprisonment, with or without a fine. “Felony” means a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed. “Felony” means a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed.

13 “Gross Misdemeanor” means any crime which is not a felony or misdemeanor. The sentence is not more than one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $3,000. “Gross Misdemeanor” means any crime which is not a felony or misdemeanor. The sentence is not more than one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $3,000. “Misdemeanor” means a crime for which a sentence is not more than 90 days in jail or a fine if not more than $1,000, or both “Misdemeanor” means a crime for which a sentence is not more than 90 days in jail or a fine if not more than $1,000, or both “Petty misdemeanor” means an offense prohibited by statute, but does not constitute a crime. Punishment is not over $300 “Petty misdemeanor” means an offense prohibited by statute, but does not constitute a crime. Punishment is not over $300

14 Criminal Complaint Warrant, summons, order of detention Warrant, summons, order of detention Identifies defendant, address, DOB Identifies defendant, address, DOB Lists crime(s) charged and MN Statutes Lists crime(s) charged and MN Statutes Provides maximum penalty Provides maximum penalty Contains Probable Cause Contains Probable Cause Public document Public document

15 Grand Jury Does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether or not there is PC to indict. Does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether or not there is PC to indict. Panel consists of people Panel consists of people Decision to indict or “no bill” does not have to be unanimous, but 12 people must agree. Decision to indict or “no bill” does not have to be unanimous, but 12 people must agree. Confidential proceedings Confidential proceedings Jurors can ask questions Jurors can ask questions Prosecutor presents information Prosecutor presents information

16 You Decide Charging activity Charging activity Based upon the facts you are given, you need to decide Based upon the facts you are given, you need to decide if you are going to charge the offender if you are going to charge the offender if so, with what charge(s)? if so, with what charge(s)?

17 Criminal Vehicular Operation § § Subdivision 1. Criminal Vehicular Homicide or operation; crime described: Subdivision 1. Criminal Vehicular Homicide or operation; crime described: A person is guilty of criminal vehicular homicide or operation and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 1a, if the person causes injury to or the death of another as a result of operating a motor vehicle: A person is guilty of criminal vehicular homicide or operation and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 1a, if the person causes injury to or the death of another as a result of operating a motor vehicle:

18 CVO cont. (1) in a grossly negligent manner; (1) in a grossly negligent manner; (2) in a negligent manner while under the influence of: (2) in a negligent manner while under the influence of: (i) alcohol; (i) alcohol; (ii) a controlled substance; or (ii) a controlled substance; or (iii) any combination of those elements; (iii) any combination of those elements; (3) while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more; (3) while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more; (4) while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, as measured within two hours of the time of driving; (4) while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, as measured within two hours of the time of driving;

19 CVO cont. (5) in a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance; (5) in a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance; (6) in a negligent manner while any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, is present in the person’s body; (6) in a negligent manner while any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, is present in the person’s body; (7) where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene of the accident in violation of section , subdivision 1 or 6; or (7) where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene of the accident in violation of section , subdivision 1 or 6; or

20 CVO cont. (8) where the driver had actual knowledge that a peace officer had previously issued a citation or warning that the motor vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver had actual knowledge that remedial action was not taken, the driver had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others, and the injury or death was caused by the defective maintenance. (8) where the driver had actual knowledge that a peace officer had previously issued a citation or warning that the motor vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver had actual knowledge that remedial action was not taken, the driver had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others, and the injury or death was caused by the defective maintenance.

21 Great Bodily Harm §609.02, subd. 8 Bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or other serious bodily harm. Substantial Bodily Harm §609.02, subd. 7a Bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member Bodily Harm §609.02, subd. 7 Means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

22 Reckless Driving § § Subd.1 – Reckless Driving (a) any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or a wonton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving and such reckless driving is a misdemeanor. (b) A person shall not race any vehicle upon any street or highway of this state. Any person who willfully compares or contests relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, which constitutes reckless driving… Subd.1 – Reckless Driving (a) any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a willful or a wonton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving and such reckless driving is a misdemeanor. (b) A person shall not race any vehicle upon any street or highway of this state. Any person who willfully compares or contests relative speeds by operating one or more vehicles is guilty of racing, which constitutes reckless driving…

23 Careless Driving § § Subd. 2 – Careless Driving: Any person who operates or halts any vehicle upon any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle. Subd. 2 – Careless Driving: Any person who operates or halts any vehicle upon any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle.

24 Gross Negligence Failure to use even the slightest amount of care in a way that shows recklessness or willful disregard for the safety of others Failure to use even the slightest amount of care in a way that shows recklessness or willful disregard for the safety of others

25 Judges Fair and unbiased decisions Fair and unbiased decisions Oversees criminal process Oversees criminal process Ex parte communications not allowed Ex parte communications not allowed Makes decisions based upon their interpretation of law, rules of evidence, rules of procedure Makes decisions based upon their interpretation of law, rules of evidence, rules of procedure Decides bail, to appoint public defender, motions, admissibility of evidence, sentence, timing of case Decides bail, to appoint public defender, motions, admissibility of evidence, sentence, timing of case

26 Defense Counsel 6 th Amendment to U.S. Constitution provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” 6 th Amendment to U.S. Constitution provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” It is their duty to defend their client’s constitutional and other legal rights in the most competent manner possible. It is their duty to defend their client’s constitutional and other legal rights in the most competent manner possible.

27 First Appearance/Rule 5 Judge verifies name & identity of defendant Judge verifies name & identity of defendant Formally advised of charges Formally advised of charges Advised of constitutional rights Advised of constitutional rights Allowed to apply for a public defender Allowed to apply for a public defender Bail or other conditions of release set by the court Bail or other conditions of release set by the court Given a date for their next court appearance Given a date for their next court appearance

28 Bail ROR/RPR ROR/RPR Bail evaluation Bail evaluation A feasible amount necessary to assure reappearance at the next hearing. A feasible amount necessary to assure reappearance at the next hearing. Not punishment Not punishment Judges must also consider conditions of release instead of bail Judges must also consider conditions of release instead of bail Non-monetary conditions and restrictions on liberty. Non-monetary conditions and restrictions on liberty. No use, testing, no contact, take meds, No use, testing, no contact, take meds,

29 Bail cont. MN Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 6.02 MN Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 6.02 the judge shall use available information regarding: Nature & circumstances of the offense Nature & circumstances of the offense Weight of the evidence against the accused Weight of the evidence against the accused Accused’s family ties Accused’s family ties Employment, financial resources, residence Employment, financial resources, residence Character and mental condition Character and mental condition Criminal history, prior warrants/ct. appearances Criminal history, prior warrants/ct. appearances Safety of a person or the community Safety of a person or the community

30 Omnibus (Evidentiary) Hearing Discovery: investigation materials and any other information or evidence relating to the charged offense Discovery: investigation materials and any other information or evidence relating to the charged offense To defendant’s opportunity to contest any of the evidence brought against him and/or PC To defendant’s opportunity to contest any of the evidence brought against him and/or PC Defendant must enter an official plea Defendant must enter an official plea

31 Plea Negotiations Settlement Conference Settlement Conference Why? Why? Advantages Advantages disadvantages disadvantages Dismissing charges, some lesser includeds Dismissing charges, some lesser includeds

32 Alford Plea Defendant does not admit to committing the crime (guilt), but acknowledges that sufficient evidence exists for a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty if the case were to go to trial. Defendant does not admit to committing the crime (guilt), but acknowledges that sufficient evidence exists for a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty if the case were to go to trial.

33 Norgaard Plea Defendant does not admit to committing the crime (guilt), but acknowledges that it’s possible. They are not able to remember their actions due to being extremely intoxicated or under the influence of chemicals. Defendant does not admit to committing the crime (guilt), but acknowledges that it’s possible. They are not able to remember their actions due to being extremely intoxicated or under the influence of chemicals.

34 Trial Fact finding process aimed at determining if the defendant is guilty of the charged offense. Fact finding process aimed at determining if the defendant is guilty of the charged offense. Jury or Judge (Court) Jury or Judge (Court) Good cases don’t go to trial Good cases don’t go to trial

35 Trial Process Jury selection Jury selection Jury swearing in/preliminary instructions Jury swearing in/preliminary instructions Opening Statements Opening Statements Prosecution Prosecution Defense Defense Closing arguments Closing arguments Jury instructions Jury instructions Jury deliberations Jury deliberations Verdict Verdict

36 Trial cont. Trial prep Trial prep Cross examination Cross examination Sequestration Sequestration Defense investigators Defense investigators Spreigl witnesses Spreigl witnesses Defendant’s right to remain silent Defendant’s right to remain silent Witness criminal history Witness criminal history Difficult/uncooperative victims/witnesses Difficult/uncooperative victims/witnesses Primary goal and only rule - TRUTH Primary goal and only rule - TRUTH

37 Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Presumption of innocence Presumption of innocence Not “fanciful or capricious” doubt. Not beyond all possible doubt. Not “fanciful or capricious” doubt. Not beyond all possible doubt. Proof of such a convincing character that it gives you a high level of certainty that you would be willing to rely and act upon it in making decisions in the most important personal affairs. Proof of such a convincing character that it gives you a high level of certainty that you would be willing to rely and act upon it in making decisions in the most important personal affairs.

38 Verdicts NOT GUILTY NOT GUILTY Charges are dismissed Charges are dismissed Double jeopardy Double jeopardy GUILTY GUILTY Pre-sentence investigation Pre-sentence investigation Bail Bail Sentencing Sentencing

39 Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Corrections dept. Corrections dept. 6-8 weeks 6-8 weeks Psych/CD eval/Psycho/sexual eval Psych/CD eval/Psycho/sexual eval Background information Background information Family, education, employment, chemical use, criminal, mental health Family, education, employment, chemical use, criminal, mental health Def’s version of crime Def’s version of crime VIS VIS Correction’s recommendation Correction’s recommendation

40 Sentencing MN Sentencing Guidelines MN Sentencing Guidelines Aggravating Factors Aggravating Factors Dispositional and/or Durational departures Dispositional and/or Durational departures Blakely v. Washington (2004) Blakely v. Washington (2004) Except for certain crimes (kidnapping), multiple victims, typically can only be sentenced for one crime incident. Except for certain crimes (kidnapping), multiple victims, typically can only be sentenced for one crime incident.

41 Restitution Actual out-of-pocket expenses Actual out-of-pocket expenses Affidavit or written request Affidavit or written request Judge orders Judge orders Corrections or other dept. may be responsible for determining amount after sentencing. Corrections or other dept. may be responsible for determining amount after sentencing. Defendant can contest amount Defendant can contest amount May require a restitution hearing May require a restitution hearing Determine your county’s payment process Determine your county’s payment process

42 Victim Impact Statements Judges vary on what is acceptable Judges vary on what is acceptable Who can speak Who can speak Format Format Length Length Method Method Preparation is key Preparation is key

43 Post-sentencing Appeal Appeal Court of Appeals Court of Appeals MN Supreme Court MN Supreme Court US Supreme Court US Supreme Court Probation violations Probation violations Post-conviction issues Post-conviction issues


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