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16.2- Criminal Cases.

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Presentation on theme: "16.2- Criminal Cases."— Presentation transcript:

1 16.2- Criminal Cases

2 What is a Criminal Case? In criminal cases the government is always the Prosecution the party who starts the legal proceedings against another party for a violation of the law A crime is an act that breaks a federal or state criminal law and causes harm to people or society

3 What is a Criminal Case? State and federal courts, judges, lawyers, police, and prisons have the responsibility for enforcing criminal law, they make up the criminal justice system Crimes are defined by state’s written criminal laws, called the penal code which also spells out punishments that go with each crime

4 Types of Crime People convicted of misdemeanors may be fined or sentenced to one year or less in jail; some misdemeanors such as illegal gambling are considered victimless crimes- because no one individual has been harmed

5 Types of Crime Serious crimes such as burglary, kidnapping, arson, and murder are known as felonies and are punishable by prison for a year or more or the death penalty People convicted of felonies may lose certain civil rights such as the right to vote, possess a firearm, serve on a jury and may lose employment opportunities

6 Penalties for Crime Penalties serve several functions:
Provide punishment so criminals pay for an offense Protect society by keeping dangerous lawbreakers in prison Serve as warnings to deter others from committing crimes Prepare lawbreakers for reentering society after terms have ended

7 Penalties for Crime Some prisoners become eligible for parole after serving part of their sentences; if parole is granted, they must report to a parole officer until the sentence expires To answer critics of parole, some states have established mandatory sentencing which means judges must impose whatever sentence the law directs Mandatory Sentencing Parole

8 Penalties for Crime Sentencing Options: (From least serious to most serious) Suspended Sentence= a sentence is given but not served at the time Probation= supervised release Home Confinement =defendant serves their sentence at home Monetary Fine=damages are paid Restitution=defendant pays back or make up for damages Work Release=defendant works but returns to prison Imprisonment=confined to prison to serve the sentence Death Penalty= a defendant is sentenced to die in states where it is mandated

9 Arrest Criminal cases begin when police or other law enforcement officers arrest a person on suspicion of having committed a crime Officers are required to read the suspect their Miranda Rights, next they are taken to a police station and booked, or charged with a crime

10 Arrest Police fingerprint and photograph the suspect and they may call a lawyer; if they cannot afford one the state must provide one Clarence Earl Gideon’s mug shot from the Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright

11 Hearing, Indictment, and Arraignment
The suspect appears in court and is informed of the charges against them, the prosecution must show probable cause for believing they committed the crime The judge may send the accused back to jail, sets bail, or releases them on their own recognizance, or control

12 Hearing, Indictment, and Arraignment
The defendant then appears in court for an arraignment where they are formally charged and asked to enter a plea

13 Hearing, Indictment, and Arraignment
If they plead not guilty the case continues, if they plead guilty they are convicted and the judge determines a punishment They also may plead no contest which means they do not admit guilt but will not fight the prosecution’s case

14 Trial Criminal defendants have the constitutional right to a jury trial but many give that up and have their case tried before a judge alone, this is known as a bench trial

15 Trial If there is a jury trial, the first step is to choose the jurors; after the jury is selected lawyers make an opening statement where they outline their cases Each side presents their case and calls witnesses who swear that their testimony is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”

16 Trial After a witness testifies, the other side can cross- examine them and ask questions to make their original testimony appear unreliable or untrue Finally, each side makes a closing statement highlighting testimony, evidence, and questioning the other side, the judge then “instructs” the jury or explains the law

17 Verdict, Sentencing, and Appeal
After the judge gives the jury instructions, they go to the jury room to discuss the case and reach a verdict; they review the evidence and arguments Jury deliberations are secret and have no set time limit; finally they vote on whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty

18 Verdict, Sentencing, and Appeal
To find a person guilty the jury must find the evidence convincing “beyond a reasonable doubt” most criminal cases require a unanimous vote If the jury feels the prosecution has not proven the case they can issue an acquittal a vote of not guilty, after which the defendant is released

19 Verdict, Sentencing, and Appeal
If the jury cannot agree on a verdict the judge declares a hung jury and rules the trial a mistrial; the prosecution can drop the charge or ask for a retrial If a defendant is found guilty, the judge sets a court date for sentencing

20 Verdict, Sentencing, and Appeal
If the defendant is found guilty they may appeal the verdict to a higher court; if it involves the death penalty it goes directly to the State Supreme Court

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