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Chapter 16 Lesson 2 Civil and Criminal Law. Crime and Punishment crime  A crime is any act that harms people or society and that breaks a criminal law.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 16 Lesson 2 Civil and Criminal Law. Crime and Punishment crime  A crime is any act that harms people or society and that breaks a criminal law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 16 Lesson 2 Civil and Criminal Law

2 Crime and Punishment crime  A crime is any act that harms people or society and that breaks a criminal law.  Examples include shoplifting, stealing a car, and murder are crimes. penal code  Each state has a penal code.  This document lists the states criminal laws and the punishments that can be given to those found guilty of each crime.  The federal government also has a penal code.  Most crimes break state laws that is why most criminal cases are tried in state courts, and most inmates are in state prison.

3 Types of Crimes  There are two broad categories of crimes.  Misdemeanors  Misdemeanors are minor crimes for which a person can be fined a small sum of money or jailed up to a year.  Felonies  Felonies are crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison.  Some crimes can be both a felony and a misdemeanor.  Theft is one for example, less than $100 is misdemeanor, anything more is considered a felony.  Vandalism is another crime which can be categorized as both.  Crimes can also be grouped as being against property or people.  Crimes against people are seen as more serious because they cause direct harm to a person.  The difference between theft and robbery is an illustration, or example, of the way these two types of crimes are seen.  Crimes against people are also called violent crimes.

4 Punishment for Crimes  Most criminal laws set minimum and maximum penalties for each type of crime. sentences  Judges may give different sentences, or punishments, for the same crime because of the different circumstances in the two cases. granted  If parole is granted, or allowed, the person must regularly report to a parole officer for the remainder of the sentence.  One purpose of punishment is to punish the person so they can repay society.  A second reason is to protect society by locking up a dangerous person.  Third punishment serves as a warning.  Finally, punishment can criminals change their behavior.

5 Criminal Case Procedure  The rights of the person suspected or accused of a crime are protected by the Bill of Rights.  In criminal cases, the government is the plaintiff.  It is called the prosecution.  In this role, the government starts the legal process against the defendant.  The police must gather enough evidence to convince the judge to order the arrest of the person they believe committed the crime.  The suspect is then taken to the police station for booking.  Booking involves making a record of the arrest.  The suspect is usually photographed and fingerprinted.

6 The Preliminary Hearing  After the booking the suspect then goes before the judge to be charged.  The prosecution must show the judge probable cause, a good reason, for believing that the accused committed the crime.  The judge then explains the charges to the suspect.  If the suspect cannot afford a lawyer the judge will appoint one.  If the crime is a misdemeanor, the suspect enters a plea at this time.  If the plea is guilty, the judge sentences him or her.  If the suspect is not guilty, the judge sets a date for the trial.  If the crime is a felony, no plea at this time.  The judge sets a hearing to learn more about the case.  The judge then either sends the suspect back to jail or requires bail.

7 Indictment, Arraignment, and Pleas  The next step is to indict the accused, or charge him or her with the crime.  A grand jury must take this step.  Some states allow judges to do so.  If the judge does not think the evidence is strong enough to bring charges, they can dismiss the case.  Arraignment follows if the case is not dismissed.  With a felony, the accused pleads guilt or innocence at this point.  A guilty plead end s the case.  The judge will issue a sentence.  If the defendant pleads not guilty, the judge sets a date for the trial. plea bargaining  The prosecution and defense may discuss plea bargaining.  The prosecution agrees to a lesser charge in return for a guilty plea.  Most criminal cases end through plea bargaining.

8 The Trial  Defendants have the right to a jury trial however most choose to be tried by the judge.  If the defendant asks for a jury, the first step is to choose the jurors.  The lawyers for each side make opening statements outlining their cases.  Each side offers evidence and witnesses.  Witnesses offer testimony by answering questions from each side. cross-examination  This second round of questioning is called cross-examination.  After both sides have presented their case, each makes a closing statement.  The judge instructs the jury by explaining how the law applies to the case.

9 The Verdict, Sentencing, and Appeals  The jurors vote on whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.  To find the accused guilty, the jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime.  If a jury cannot decide on a vote then the judge declares a mistrial.  A mistrial means no decision- the accused is found neither guilty nor innocent.  The prosecution must then decide whether or not to try the defendant again. acquittal  If the defendant is found not guilty they are set free this is called an acquittal.  If the verdict is guilty, the judge sets a court date for sentencing.  If the crime is a serious one, the judge may hold a hearing on the defendants background.  People found guilty often appeal the verdict to a higher court.  The appeals court does not try the case again, they only decide whether the defendants rights were violated or if the judge made errors during the trial.

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