Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Courts & Procedures

    "The criminal process begins when a law is first broken and extends through the arrest, indictment, trial, and appeal."¹ The federal court system has a process at a national level, while each state and territory has its own set of rules and regulations which affect the judicial process. Although there are norms and similarities, no state has an identical justice system.¹

    Simply because an act is hurtful or sinful does not automatically make it a crime. To be a crime, an action must be in specific violation of a criminal statute enacted by Congress, a state legislature, or some other public authority. A crime is a violation of obligations due the community as a whole and can be punished only by the state.¹ In the U.S., most crimes are either sins of commission or sins of omission. A sin of commission could be aggravated assault or embezzlement, and a sin of omission could be failing to stop and render aid after a traffic accident or failing to file an income tax return.¹

    There are two different kinds of courts²:

    • State courts: Most legal issues get resolved in state trial courts, which are the courts at the lowest tier in a state's court system. Most states have two levels of trial courts, which are trial courts with limited jurisdiction and trial courts with specific jurisdiction. Jurisdiction refers to the types of cases a court can hear. Every state has a court, which many call "a court of last resort". Generally, it is referred to as the "supreme court". Supreme court decisions are final, but sometimes can be appealed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Federal courts: The federal court system is divided into districts and circuits. Federal lawsuits start out at a district level and most of them are civil, not criminal, cases involving legal issues. A federal circuit includes more than one district and is home to a Federal Court of Appeal. At the very top of the federal court system is the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The U.S. legal system is based on the adversarial process, meaning that all court procedures believe that all parties in a legal dispute must have an equal opportunity to state their case to a neutral jury or judge and to poke holes in what the other side says.²

    There are four categories of crime¹:

    • Conventional Crimes: property crimes make up 31.3 million conventional crimes committed annually in the U.S. A property crime example would be a burglary. The rarer convention crimes are those against the person, like violence including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
    • Economic Crimes: there are four types of economic crimes, including personal crimes (nonviolent criminal activity), abuse of trust (business or government employees violate their fidelity to their employer), business crimes (misleading advertising, violations of antitrust laws, etc.), and con games (which are white-collar criminal activities committed under the guise of a business).
    • Syndicated, or Organized, Crimes: a syndicated crime is engaged in by groups of people and is often directed on some type of hierarchical basis. It represents an ongoing activity that is inexorably entwined with fear and corruption.
    • Political Crimes: this usually constitutes an offense against the government, meaning treason, armed rebellion, assassination of public officials, and sedition. 
    • Consensual Crimes: so-called victimless crime, such as prostitution, gambling, illegal drug use, and unlawful sexual practices between consenting adults, is called consensual because both perpetrator and client desire the forbidden activity.

    A US Court Procedure usually goes as follows:

    1. Jury Selection
    2. Opening Statements
    3. Presentation of Evidence and Testimony of Witnesses
    4. Closing Arguments
    5. Presentation of Jury Instructions
    6. Deliberation




    1. IIP Digital. U.S. Criminal Court Process. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2008/05/20080522220810eaifas0.9525873.html#axzz31VQVdUVd

    2. Getting to Know the U.S. Court Systems. For Dummies. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/getting-to-know-the-us-court-systems.html

    3. Types of Trials & Court Procedure in the US. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://www.legallanguage.com/legal-articles/types-of-trials/

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 1, 2020, 8:00 am ad1c9bdddf


    BrainMass Categories within Courts & Procedures


    Solutions: 22

    A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process.


    Solutions: 11

    There are many people involved in the court system, including the accused, Associate Judge, barrister, bench clerk, defence solicitor, informant, judge, judge's associate, magistrate, plaintiff, prosecutor, registrar, respondent, and tipstaff.


    Solutions: 4

    Sentencing refers to declaring the punishment decided for an offender.

    Criminal Defenses

    Solutions: 4

    In civil proceedings and criminal prosecutions under the common law, a defendant may raise a defines in an attempt to avoid criminal or civil liability.


    Solutions: 17

    The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.



    Solutions: 5

    A formal statement by or on behalf of a defendant or prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply.


    Solutions: 2

    The making of a serious or urgent request, typically to the public.

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    Efficiency and Effectiveness

    As you continue in your fairly new position as Sheriff, you realize the organization has developed a rather unfavorable reputation for inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and even corruption. You are determined to improve the organization's performance. Prepare a 2- to 3-page report in Microsoft Word that will address these issues

    Public Defense System

    Historically, defense by a public defender has been considered equivalent to not being defended at all. Although earlier studies indicate that public defense results in high conviction rates, new studies indicate that the public defender system now provides defense comparable with a private attorney. •Does the public defense

    Criminal Law and Justice - Counseling

    Case study: Luis struggling with a sexual problem The client a computer technician at a large corporation who earns approximately $60,000 a year, appeared at a public health organization asking for help with sexual difficulties he was experiencing with his wife. When questioned why he was not seeking private help, he said that

    Litigation Against Law Enforcement Officials

    Do you think that there is a trend in this country towards stopping litigation against law enforcement officials? Do you agree with the decisions in these cases? Why or why not? Do officers have enough to worry about without being concerned with potential lawsuits? Should we eliminate the ability of citizens to sue government in

    Court Jurisdiction

    Define the terms "subject matter jurisdiction" and "personal jurisdiction". What are the requirements of personal jurisdiction in a federal court? Explain the 3 different types of personal jurisdiction. Provide examples for each. What are the 2 types of cases federal courts may hear? Explain each type, and give an example(s).

    Court Jurisdiction and Venue

    A court must have jurisdiction to hear and decide a case. Venue is the particular location or area in which a court with geographical jurisdiction may hear a case. Explain why venue may be easily changed within the federal system and reasons why changes in venue may be granted for federal cases. In your answer provide an example

    type of legal system present in South Korea

    Explain the type of legal system present in South Korea. Explain the courtroom workgroup in the chosen country. Analyze the process of proving and determining guilt. Evaluate the defendant rights in the chosen country and compared them with defendant's right in the United States. Explain the path of appeal available to a