Criminal Justice Essay

1283 words - 6 pages

Criminal Justice
Maria Pringle
American InterContinental University
03-24-2012

Abstract
The criminal justice system is a set of agencies and processes that are established by the government to control crime. The justice system is no single system; but divides into many that operate separately. How the criminal justice system work depends on jurisdiction. Different jurisdictions have different laws, agencies, and ways they handle the justice process. The main systems are state and federal. The state handles crimes inside their state boundaries. The federal handle crimes committed on federal property (Criminal justice, 2008).

The Criminal Justice System
Majority of the ...view middle of the document...

Judges can accept or deny plea agreements, oversee trials, and sentence offenders. Correction officers supervise convicted criminals in jail, prison, or in community on probation or parole.
Criminal law is codes, statues, and rules that prohibit certain conduct by regional, state, and federal government. When a person is taken into custody and charged with the violation. Criminal violations can range from misdemeanor to severe felonies. There are state and federal statues that categorize crimes depending on the severity. There are three basic types of criminal charges: petty offences, misdemeanors, and felonies. Petty offences do not warrant jail time. Petty offences are punished by fines and community service. Examples are traffic violations, jaywalking, and disturbing the peace. Misdemeanors are punishable by short prison sentences not to exceed one year. Misdemeanors have moderate fines, community service, and probation time. Examples are simple assault, theft, prostitution, and vandalism. Felonies are the most severe type of crime a person can commit. Felonies are punishable by more than year, hefty fines, community service, and probation. Some examples are grand theft, fraud, rape, and murder. Felonies can also carry a death penalty (Criminal defense, 2012).
Criminal process begins with law enforcement. They prepare a report, investigates, make an arrest or give by citation. The report is given by the victims, witnesses, or other parties. During the investigation officers try to identify a suspect and find evidence to make an arrest. If the suspect has enough evidence, the officers may arrest or give a citation depending on the nature of the crime. The prosecutor considers the charges and evidence from the police, and decides whether or not to file written charges. If the prosecutor decides on charges, the accused will have a first court appearance. The judge will decide if there is enough evidence for the charges to stick. If the defendant does not have an attorney, one will be appointed by the law. At the first appearance; the judge can decide to hold the accused in jail or release him or her on bail, or bond. Bail means the defendant has to hand over cash, property, or other valuables. Bond is the amount a bail bondsman collects from a defendant to pay the bail. Judges consider certain factors when deciding jail time; some factors are drug use, residence, family, and employment. Defendants have right to a grand jury or preliminary hearing. This means a jury of citizens hears the evidence and decides if it’s enough for an indictment, a written statement of facts charged against the accused. The arraignment is next, the defendant is brought in front of the judge to hear his or her charges. The judge will inform the defendant of his or hers rights, the defendant gets to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the defendant pleas guilty or no contest, there will not be a trial, sentencing will be schedule at a later date. If...

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