The basic information about criminal justice

Here are a few examples of differences between the state and federal criminal processes:. The federal rules for criminal cases can be found in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which govern all aspects of criminal trials. Each state has its own similar rules. The steps you will find here are not exhaustive.

Who’s who in the criminal justice system

Some cases will be much simpler, and others will include many more steps. Please be sure to consult an attorney to better understand how or if the information presented here applies to your case. You are here U.

Your Basic Constitutional Rights in the Criminal Justice System

Steps In The Federal Criminal Process In this section, you will learn mostly about how the criminal process works in the federal system. Here are a few examples of differences between the state and federal criminal processes: Titles of people involved — State cases are brought by prosecutors or district attorneys; federal cases are brought by United States Attorneys.

State court trial judges have a range of titles, but federal judges are called district court judges. Examples of alternative programs include drug treatment, individual or group counseling, or referral to educational and recreational programs. When juveniles are referred to the juvenile courts, the court's intake department or the prosecuting attorney determines whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant filing a petition that requests an adjudicatory hearing or a request to transfer jurisdiction to criminal court.

At this point, many juveniles are released or diverted to alternative programs. All States allow juveniles to be tried as adults in criminal court under certain circumstances. In many States, the legislature statutorily excludes certain usually serious offenses from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court regardless of the age of the accused. In some States and at the Federal level under certain circumstances, prosecutors have the discretion to either file criminal charges against juveniles directly in criminal courts or proceed through the juvenile justice process. The juvenile court's intake department or the prosecutor may petition the juvenile court to waive jurisdiction to criminal court.

The juvenile court also may order referral to criminal court for trial as adults. In some jurisdictions, juveniles processed as adults may upon conviction be sentenced to either an adult or a juvenile facility. In those cases where the juvenile court retains jurisdiction, the case may be handled formally by filing a delinquency petition or informally by diverting the juvenile to other agencies or programs in lieu of further court processing.

If a petition for an adjudicatory hearing is accepted, the juvenile may be brought before a court quite unlike the court with jurisdiction over adult offenders. Despite the considerable discretion associated with juvenile court proceedings, juveniles are afforded many of the due-process safeguards associated with adult criminal trials. Several States permit the use of juries in juvenile courts; however, in light of the U. Supreme Court holding that juries are not essential to juvenile hearings, most States do not make provisions for juries in juvenile courts.

In disposing of cases, juvenile courts usually have far more discretion than adult courts. In addition to such options as probation, commitment to a residential facility, restitution, or fines, State laws grant juvenile courts the power to order removal of children from their homes to foster homes or treatment facilities.

Criminal Law Basics - FindLaw

Juvenile courts also may order participation in special programs aimed at shoplifting prevention, drug counseling, or driver education. Once a juvenile is under juvenile court disposition, the court may retain jurisdiction until the juvenile legally becomes an adult at age 21in most States. In some jurisdictions, juvenile offenders may be classified as youthful offenders which can lead to extended sentences. Following release from an institution, juveniles are often ordered to a period of aftercare which is similar to parole supervision for adult offenders.

Juvenile offenders who violate the conditions of aftercare may have their aftercare revoked, resulting in being recommitted to a facility. Juveniles who are classified as youthful offenders and violate the conditions of aftercare may be subject to adult sanctions. The governmental response to crime is founded in the intergovernmental structure of the United States. Under our form of government, each State and the Federal Government has its own criminal justice system.

All systems must respect the rights of individuals set forth in court interpretation of the U. Constitution and defined in case law.

The Criminal Justice System in Brazil: a brief account

State constitutions and laws define the criminal justice system within each State and delegate the authority and responsibility for criminal justice to various jurisdictions, officials, and institutions. State laws also define criminal behavior and groups of children or acts under jurisdiction of the juvenile courts. Municipalities and counties further define their criminal justice systems through local ordinances that proscribe the local agencies responsible for criminal justice processing that were not established by the State.

Congress has also established a criminal justice system at the Federal level to respond to Federal crimes such a bank robbery, kidnaping, and transporting stolen goods across State lines. Very few crimes are under exclusive Federal jurisdiction. The responsibility to respond to most crime rests with State and local governments.

Police protection is primarily a function of cities and towns. Corrections is primarily a function of State governments. Most justice personnel are employed at the local level. Discretion is "an authority conferred by law to act in certain conditions or situations in accordance with an official's or an official agency's own considered judgment and conscience.

It is a part of decisionmaking in all government systems from mental health to education, as well as criminal justice. The limits of discretion vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Concerning crime and justice, legislative bodies have recognized that they cannot anticipate the range of circumstances surrounding each crime, anticipate local mores, and enact laws that clearly encompass all conduct that is criminal and all that is not.

Basically, they must decide -. To ensure that discretion is exercised responsibly, government authority is often delegated to professionals. Professionalism requires a minimum level of training and orientation, which guide officials in making decisions. The professionalism of policing is due largely to the desire to ensure the proper exercise of police discretion. The limits of discretion vary from State to State and locality to locality. For example, some State judges have wide discretion in the type of sentence they may impose.

In recent years other States have sought to limit the judges discretion in sentencing by passing mandatory sentencing laws that require prison sentences for certain offenses. Total correctional population. Local jail inmates and jail facilities. State and federal prisoners and prison facilities. Special populations. Community Corrections Probation and Parole. Capital Punishment. State Court Organization. State Court Caseload Statistics. Prosecutors Offices.

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