2 Steps in a Criminal Case Investigation and Arrest:Either may happen first.It depends upon the crime.
3 Steps in a Criminal Case Initial Appearance:Suspect is brought before a judge who reads them the chargesIf misdemeanor (minor crime punished by fine or jail less than 1 yr.)Plead guilty and pay a fine ORPlead not guilty and a court date is setIf felony, (major crime, Seven deadly sins) a court date is set for preliminary hearing. Suspect will be either:Released ORHave a bail amount set ORHeld in jail with no bail
4 Georgia’s "Seven Deadly Sins" law was passed in 1995. The law mandates, for a first felony offense, a non-parolable sentence of at least 10 years in prison forRapeArmed RobberyKidnappingAggravated sodomyAggravated sexual batteryAggravated child molestation,Murder
5 3. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Prosecution tries to prove they have enough evidence for a trialThe defendant is not allow to present any evidenceIn a Preliminary Hearing they present it to a judgeIn a Grand Jury they present it to a jury of citizensIf there is enough evidence an arraignment date is setIf there is not enough evidence the case endsIn some states the Prosecutor can skip this step by filing an “information”.This is the prosecutor officially testifying that he has enough evidence to go to court.
6 4. Arraignment Defendant enters one of four pleas: Not Guilty Not Guilty by Reason of InsanityGuiltyNolo Contendere – “I will not contest.” not admitting guilt but will take the punishment (only in some states—yes GA)If Guilty or ‘Nolo’ is plead, judge decides a sentenceIf either ‘Not Guilty’ plea is given, a court date is set.
7 Both lawyers have opening statements Prosecution presents its evidence 5. TrialBoth lawyers have opening statementsProsecution presents its evidenceDefense presents its evidenceBoth lawyers have closing argumentsProsecution must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty.
8 6. DecisionJudge can explain the law to the juryJury deliberates in privateJury delivers verdict to the court---must be unanimous in nearly all criminal cases.If verdict is “Not Guilty” then defendant is freeIf verdict is “Guilty” or “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” then move on to sentencing.
9 7. Sentencing Judge determines sentence. In some cases this may not happen right awayIn the case of a death penalty case, there is a second trial to determine the verdictA sentence can be:Time in prisonMoneyCommunity ServiceAnything else the judge can think of (in some states)
10 Plea BargainingIn 90% of cases, before a case goes to trial, the Prosecution and Defense make a deal—plea bargain.Sometimes for a lesser offense. Sometimes for a specific sentence.The judge is told the deal, but the judge is under no obligation to follow the deal.However, usually they do.
11 Now to Civil Law --- COMMON LAW or CASE LAW MOST IMPORTANT BASIS OF THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEMMADE BY JUDGES IN THE PROCESS OF RESOLVING INDIVIDUAL CASES
12 Disputes over what was agreed upon Disputes over nonperformance 4 Types of Civil LawContract Disputes –Disputes over what was agreed uponDisputes over nonperformance
13 Disputes over who owns property Disputes over sales of property 4 Types of Civil Law2. Property Law –Disputes over who owns propertyDisputes over sales of property
14 Marriages, Divorces, Child Custody 4 Types of Civil Law3. Family Law –Marriages, Divorces, Child Custody
15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cM CaZt2xCY 4 Types of Civil Law4. Torts or Civil Wrongsa. Intentional Torts – Deliberate acts that result in harm to a person or propertyNegligence – Harm caused to a person or property because of reckless or careless behaviorCaZt2xCY
16 How much can I sue for?Usually, you can only sue for the amount of damage actually done.Part of the case will be proving the value and/or proving how much you lostDamages will only be awarded for ‘actual’ value/loss and not for ‘future’ or ‘possible’ gainHowever, don’t forget about “lost wages” and “pain and suffering”
17 5 Steps in a Civil Case Hire a Lawyer File a Complaint with the Court The court notifies the defendantPretrial DiscoveryBoth sides gathering information and dataTrialMuch like a criminal case, except often there is no jury, only a judgeAwardJury/Judge determines amountUsually Judge can modify a jury decision
18 The court is notified of the agreement and the case ends Bargaining?Just like in Criminal cases, often civil cases end early with an agreementThe court is notified of the agreement and the case endsMediation – having a third party try to resolve the disputeIn some courts this is required
19 DefensesReasonable doubt - The state must prove the defendant is guilty “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” The judge or jury cannot have any question as to the facts the state has presented in alleging the defendant committed the crime If there is any doubt, then the jury must find in favor of the accusedAlibi - An alibi is a credible source of evidence that a person accused of a crime was in fact in another place, and not at the scene at the time a crime was committedInsanity - The inability to distinguish right from wrongThe person knows what they are doing is wrong, but due to mental illness they are unable to control their behavior
20 DefensesSelf-Defense - The defendant doesn’t deny doing the act, but claims they were simply responding to the other person’s aggressive and threatening actions.Age – cannot be tried for a crime if 13th or younger at time the crime is committed (Georgia)Ignorance of the Law - Not a Defense - if ignorance of law was an excuse then any person charged with a criminal offense or subject of a civil suit can claim that he or she was unaware of the law in question and avoid liability