Crime Scene Forensics,LLC
Criminal Justice Corner
Information on the U.S. Legal System
The United States uses a dual court system:

1. State Courts:
Hear cases involving violations of state statutes

2. Federal Courts:
Hear cases involving violations of acts of congress
(federal statutes)
Definitions:

Jurisdiction: Authority or power to hear or handle a case

General Jurisdiction: Court can hear a variety of cases

Specific or Limited Jurisdiction: Can hear a narrow range of cases

Venue: The place of trial;  Normally, the trial will take place where the offense was
committed. The Venue will change if the defendant can show that he/she will
not be able to receive a fair trial in the original jurisdiction
Prosecutors:
1. Regarded as the most powerful person in the Criminal
Justice System
*Referred to as: District Attorney
            State’s Attorney
            County Attorney
            Commonwealth Attorney
A Federal Prosecutor is referred to as a  U.S. Attorney

2. The prosecutor is said to represent the community in
bringing charges against a person

3. The District Attorney, State's Attorney, Commonwealth
Attorney are elected officials, who appoint Assistant
District/State's attorneys

4. The U.S. Attorney is appointed by the President, and
appoints Assistant U.S. Attorneys
United States Supreme Court
United States Court System

U.S. Bill of Rights

Case Law
The Prosecutors Role:
1. Decides what, if any, charges will be filed
against a particular person
2. Decides on legal issues such as:
A. obtaining search warrants
B. obtaining subpoenas
C. obtaining arrest warrants
3. Oversees Grand Jury proceedings
4. Makes bail recommendations
5. Makes sentence recommendations
6. Decides on Plea bargains vs trial
Represents the legal rights of the accused in a  
criminal proceeding


The Role of Presiding Judges:
1. Objectively assess the strength of a case
2. Rule on issues of law and procedure
3. Sometimes determine guilt or innocence
(bench trials)
4. Sentence convicted offenders
The fascinating world
of forensic
science...made simple