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Judicial Branch of the Georgia State Government

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1 Judicial Branch of the Georgia State Government

2 SS8CGC4 The student will analyze the role of the judicial branch in Georgia state government.

3 GPS SS8CG 4 a. Explain the structure of the court system in Georgia including trial and appellate procedures and how judges are selected. b. Explain the difference between criminal law and civil law. c. Describe the adult justice system, emphasizing the different jurisdictions, terminology, and steps in the criminal justice process. d. Describe ways to avoid trouble and settle disputes peacefully.

4 Georgia Judicial Branch
This branch of government has a role to: a. Interpret the laws of the state of Georgia Protect the legal and civil rights of citizens through “due process.” Enforce the laws of the state in court

5 Terminology of the Justice System
Criminal courts try violators of the law; civil courts handle arguments between citizens. Grand juries hear cases to determine if enough evidence is present to “officially charge” or indict the accused; Trial juries hear cases to judge whether the accused is guilty or not guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt) Trial courts handle the original criminal or civil cases; while Appellate courts hear cases that are appealed from lower-ranking courts

6 Structure of Georgia’s Justice System

7 State Supreme Court Jurisdiction
Georgia’s highest court (oversee all judges and lawyers in the state) An appellate court (reviews civil and criminal cases from trial courts and Court of Appeals) Reviews challenges to the constitutionality of state laws Reviews all death penalty cases in the state of Georgia Judges and Qualifications Seven justices (Leah Ward Sears--Chief Justice) Lawyer for seven years

8 State Supreme Court Selection of Judges and Terms
Selected by voters in state-wide nonpartisan election Serve 6-year terms Justices select chief Justice

9 State Court of Appeals Jurisdiction
An Appellate court by handling appeals concerning civil and trail cases from superior, state, and juvenile courts Judges and Qualifications 12 justices Lawyer for seven years Selection of Judges and Terms Elected by voters in state-wide nonpartisan election Serve six-year terms Justices select the chief justice

10 Superior Courts Jurisdiction
Mainly handles felony criminal cases or major civil cases (i.e. divorce) Jury Trial County election laws Judges and Qualifications 193 judges Lawyer for seven years and 30 years old Selection of Judges and terms Voter within circuit select in nonpartisan election 4-year terms

11 State Trial Courts Jurisdiction 71 county-level courts Jury trials
Hears original misdemeanor and traffic violation cases Judges and Qualifications 193 judges Lawyer for seven years and 30 years old Selection of Judges and Terms Nonpartisan elections within county 4-year terms

12 Juvenile Courts Jurisdiction
Hears cases involving youths who are 17 years old and younger (unruly or delinquent) Non-jury Judges and Qualifications 120 judges Lawyers for five years and 30 years old Selection of Judges Appointed by Superior Court judge 4-year terms

13 Probate Courts Jurisdiction 159 county courts
Hears cases involving wills, estates, guardian rights, and marriage licenses Jury Trials Judges and Qualifications 159 judges Must be high school grad. and 25 years old Lawyer for seven years in larger counties Selection of Judges and Terms Partisan election within county 4-year terms

14 Magistrate Court Jurisdiction 159 county courts
Hears civil cases under $15,000 (“People’s Court”) Non-jury Issues arrest and search warrants Judges and Qualifications 159 chief magistrates and 354 magistrates Must be high school grads. And 25 years old Selection of Judges and terms Most Chief magistrates elected in county-wide election 4-year terms Other magistrates appointed by chief magistrate

15 Whose case is it anyways?
There are numerous trial and appellate courts within the state of Georgia. Each has their own duties and jurisdictions over who tries which case. Match the letter and court level or jury below to the appropriate scenario or court case that court would handle a.) State Supreme Court b.) Court of Appeals c.) State Trial Courts d.) Juvenile Court e.) Probate Court f.) Magistrate Court g.) Grand Jury h.) Trial Jury i.) Superior Court Determine whether or not there is enough evidence to “officially charge” or indict an individual with a crime. ___________ Citizens challenge a law claiming it violates the civil rights of others. _______ A 14 year old is charged with shoplifting.________ Family members argue over who should inherit their deceased father’s house and property. ______ An individual appeals a guilty verdict claiming their trial or jury was unfair. ________ Neighbors argue over property damage of $5, ________ The accused is charged and on trial for first degree murder. ________ Reviews case where an individual has been found guilty of murder and sentenced to the death penalty. _______ Oversees rules of ethics and personal conduct among lawyers and judges within the state of Georgia. _______ An aunt and uncle wish to acquire official guardian rights for their niece or nephew. _______ Accused is charged with petite theft. ________ Youth is truant at school and ran away from home. ______ The accused passed a number of “bad checks.” ______ Hears the case of someone who is a first time DUI offender. _______ Police want to obtain a warrant to search an individual’s house or business. _______ A group of an individual’s peers judge whether he or she is guilty or not. _____

16 Steps in the Criminal Justice Process
#1 Arrest **warrants **Miranda Rights

17 #2 Initial Appearance **Must happen within 48 to 72 hours (prevent someone from being “forgotten in Jail”) **notified of charges **bail set **attorney appoint if defendant does not have one

18 #3 Preliminary Hearing **Prosecution presents evidence
**in felony cases, a grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to “indict” defendant **or if nor enough, grand jury “acquits” the defendent

19 #4 Arraignment **defendant pleads: 1. guilty (skips trial)
2. not guilty 3. nolo centendre “No contest” (guilty gharge does not go on record, but defendant serves a sentence) **plea bargain occurs

20 #5 Trial **Several rights are: 1. trial by jury (6th amendment)
2. right to attorney, not to incriminate self, and present evidence (5th amendment) 3. right to public trial and confront accusers (7th amendment) **burden of proof on persecution **right to appeal case

21 #6 Presentence Hearing **hearing to determine the sentence the accused will received **court investigators, victims, and defense will present arguments

22 #7 Sentencing **Judge announces defendents punishment 1. imprisonment
2. probation 3. fines 4. restitution to victims **protection of cruel and unusual punishment (8th amendment)

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