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    Criminal Procedures

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    Criminal Procedures

    Criminal Procedures Federal Laws vs. State Laws

    Federal laws, or statutes, are created by the United States Congress to safeguard the citizens of this country. Some criminal acts are federal offenses only and must be prosecuted in U.S. District Court. Other criminal acts are offenses under both federal and state law; so, in those cases, federal and county attorneys must decide if the offender should be tried in U.S. District Court or state court.

    Felony or Misdemeanor

    Criminal acts fall into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are offenses that may result in prison sentences of more than one year, while misdemeanors carry sentences of one year or less. The United States Congress decides which criminal acts are felonies and which ones are misdemeanors. State legislatures make those determinations for criminal acts that violate state law.

    When Someone is Suspected of a Federal Crime...

    1. Complaint and Arrest Warrant -- Law enforcement obtains a Warrant for Arrest of the alleged offender. The warrant is based on an Indictment (see below) or a Complaint filed with the U.S. District Court. An Affidavit, signed by a law enforcement officer, usually accompanies the Complaint. The Affidavit explains the crime committed as well as the role of the accused in that crime. In other words, the Affidavit is used to establish probable cause that the accused committed the crime.2. Initial Appearance -- As soon as practicable after arrest, the alleged offender must be granted an Initial Appearance before a Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate Judge advises the accused of his or her rights and determines if he or she has the financial ability to hire an attorney or if a public defender must be appointed. The Magistrate Judge also sets release conditions, including any bond. At the same time, a federal prosecutor, known as an Assistant United States Attorney, may ask that the defendant be detained.3. Detention Hearing -- If the alleged offender is detained, a Detention Hearing must be held within three working days. At that hearing, the Magistrate Judge listens to evidence about the accused's risk of flight or danger to the community. The Magistrate Judge then decides if the accused should be detained or released pending trial.4. Preliminary Hearing -- Within 10 days of arrest on a Complaint, the accused also has the right to a Preliminary Hearing, during which an Assistant U.S. Attorney may offer testimony to establish probable cause, and the defense attorney may provide evidence on behalf of the accused. If the Magistrate Judge overseeing the hearing finds sufficient probable cause as to the commission of the crime as well as the accused's role in it, the accused is bound over for further proceedings by a grand jury. Note, if the grand jury returns an Indictment against an alleged offender before arrest is made, a Preliminary Hearing is not necessary.5. Grand Jury -- The final decision to prosecute a federal criminal case rests with a grand jury. A federal grand jury is comprised of 23 randomly selected citizens from across the judicial district (This judicial district encompasses the entire State of Minnesota). Those selected to serve on the grand jury do so for a few days each month for approximately one year, after which a new grand jury is selected by the U.S. District Court.6. Indictment Sought -- Instead of filing a Complaint, or after filing a Complaint, Assistant U.S. Attorneys appear before the grand jury to establish probable cause that a particular person committed a federal felony. They do this by calling witnesses and presenting evidence obtained with Grand Jury Subpoenas. Defense attorneys are not allowed to appear before the grand jury; the accused does not need to testify before the grand jury; and the work of the grand jury is to be kept secret.7. Indictment Returned -- If the grand jury decides the evidence presented establishes probable cause, it issues an Indictment against the accused. At least 16 of the 23 members of the grand jury must be present to conduct business, and at least 12 jurors must vote to indict. The Indictment is called a True Bill. If the grand jury does not find sufficient probable cause, it returns a No Bill. In a misdemeanor case, or in a felony case where the accused has waived indictment and has agreed, instead, to plead guilty, no case is presented to the grand jury. In those instances, an Information, which is a document outlining probable cause, is filed with the U.S. District Court.8. Arraignment -- After an Indictment or Information has been filed and arrest has been made, an Arraignment must take place before a Magistrate Judge. During an Arraignment, the accused, now called the defendant, is read the charges against him or her and advised of his or her rights. The defendant also enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. If necessary, a trial date is selected and a schedule set for motion hearings, which may include in-court arguments as to suppression of evidence, etc. Note, the Federal Speedy Trial Act dictates the defendant has right to trial within 70 days from his or her arraignment in U.S. District Court.      .9. Plea Agreement -- Defendants are presumed innocent until they admit guilt or are proven guilty. If a defendant pleads not guilty, a trial takes place unless a Plea Agreement can be reached between the Assistant U.S. Attorney and the defense attorney. In those instances, the defendant must offer a change of plea before a U.S. District Court Judge, who needs to approve the terms of the Plea Agreement.

    Source : www.justice.gov

    Types of Juries

    Trial Jury A trial jury, also known as a petit jury, decides whether the defendant committed the crime as charged in a criminal case, or whether the defendant injured the plaintiff in a civil case.

    Main content

    Types of Juries

    There are two types of juries serving different functions in the federal trial courts: trial juries, also known as petit juries, and grand juries.

    Trial Jury

    A trial jury, also known as a petit jury, decides whether the defendant committed the crime as charged in a criminal case, or whether the defendant injured the plaintiff in a civil case.

    Consists of 6-12 people.

    Trials are generally public, but jury deliberations are private.

    Defendants have the right to appear, testify, and call witnesses on their behalf.

    Final outcome is a verdict, in favor of plaintiff or defendant in a civil case, or guilty/not guilty in a criminal case.

    Grand Jury

    A grand jury is presented with evidence from the U.S. attorney, the prosecutor in federal criminal cases. The grand jury determines whether there is “probable cause” to believe the individual has committed a crime and should be put on trial. If the grand jury determines there is enough evidence, an indictment will be issued against the defendant.

    Consists of 16-23 people.

    Grand jury proceedings are not open to the public.

    Defendants and their attorneys do not have the right to appear before the grand jury.

    Source : www.uscourts.gov

    TX GOV CH 13 Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards terms like Felony, bail, Harris (Houston) and more.

    TX GOV CH 13

    Felony

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    is a serious criminal offense that subjects a person to state prison pun-ishment. Fines can be up to $10,000, and prison punishment can range from six months to the death penalty. The right to vote, to have a gun, or to have certain occupational licenses can also be taken away, although in Texas voting rights for felons are restored after the sentence has been fully discharged. The most serious felony is capital murder, for which the penalty can be death or life imprisonment without parole. The next most serious felony is a first degree felony, for which the punishment can be 5 to 99 years in a state prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. First degree felonies include such crimes as aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and arson of a habita-tion. A crime defined as "aggravated" involves the use of some sort of weapon. A second degree felony is punished with a sentence of 2 to 20 years in state prison

    and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Second degree felo-nies include such crimes as arson, bigamy, bribery, rob-bery, sexual assault, manslaughter, and possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana. A third degree felony is punished with a sentence of 2 to 10 years in state prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Examples of third degree felonies include a stalking conviction, a third driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, or a third offense of violation of a protective order. The last category of felonies, state jail felonies, results in 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Examples of a state jail felony include burglary of a building, DWI with a child as a passenger, forgery of a check, and possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance.

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    bail

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    is money that is provided by the defendant to assure his or her appearance in court. Usually, if a defendant does not show up for trial, the bail is forfeited. If the defendant appears as required, the bail money is returned. An individual may put up the entire sum for bail in order to be released from prison pend-ing trial. Often, however, bail is more than the accused can pay, and so he or she will arrange with a bail bonds-man to pay the bail in exchange for a nonrefundable payment that is often 10 percent of the amount but can be higher.

    payment of money to the state as an assurance that an accused person who is released from jail pending trial will appear for trial; if the accused does not appear, the bail is forfeited

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    1/20 Created by minimalistcat

    Terms in this set (20)

    Felony

    is a serious criminal offense that subjects a person to state prison pun-ishment. Fines can be up to $10,000, and prison punishment can range from six months to the death penalty. The right to vote, to have a gun, or to have certain occupational licenses can also be taken away, although in Texas voting rights for felons are restored after the sentence has been fully discharged. The most serious felony is capital murder, for which the penalty can be death or life imprisonment without parole. The next most serious felony is a first degree felony, for which the punishment can be 5 to 99 years in a state prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. First degree felonies include such crimes as aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and arson of a habita-tion. A crime defined as "aggravated" involves the use of some sort of weapon. A second degree felony is punished with a sentence of 2 to 20 years in state prison

    and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Second degree felo-nies include such crimes as arson, bigamy, bribery, rob-bery, sexual assault, manslaughter, and possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana. A third degree felony is punished with a sentence of 2 to 10 years in state prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Examples of third degree felonies include a stalking conviction, a third driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, or a third offense of violation of a protective order. The last category of felonies, state jail felonies, results in 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Examples of a state jail felony include burglary of a building, DWI with a child as a passenger, forgery of a check, and possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance.

    bail

    is money that is provided by the defendant to assure his or her appearance in court. Usually, if a defendant does not show up for trial, the bail is forfeited. If the defendant appears as required, the bail money is returned. An individual may put up the entire sum for bail in order to be released from prison pend-ing trial. Often, however, bail is more than the accused can pay, and so he or she will arrange with a bail bonds-man to pay the bail in exchange for a nonrefundable payment that is often 10 percent of the amount but can be higher.

    payment of money to the state as an assurance that an accused person who is released from jail pending trial will appear for trial; if the accused does not appear, the bail is forfeited

    Harris (Houston)

    why county has the highest amount of executions in texas and US? w/116

    282

    Texas executed 515 people from 1976 through 2013. As of July 2013 there were " "people on death row.

    Source : quizlet.com

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