Outline 13 - Pendergrass 1 Kayla Pendergrass Professor...

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Kayla PendergrassProfessor Judith K. GoochGovernment 230623 April 2016Chapter 13: Crime and Corrections Policy in TexasI.Main Topic – Categorizing Crime in Texasa.Crimes, of course, have different levels of seriousness, and punishments vary according to the legislature’s classification of the seriousness of the crime. In the Texas criminal justice system, crimes are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. 1. A felony is a serious criminal offense that subjects a person to state prison punishment. Fines can be up to $10,000, and 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. 2. The most serious felony is capital murder, for which the penalty can be death orlife 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 in prison and a possible fine 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 habitation. b. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, for which the fine is $4,000 or less and the sentence is up to one year in the county jail. No rights such as the right to vote, the right to possess a weapon, or the rights to have some occupational licenses are lost as a result of a misdemeanor conviction. The most serious is a class A misdemeanor, for which the fine is not more than $4,000 and the sentence would not be more than a year in a county jail. 1. In some cases, the judge may allow probation, or community supervision, rather than a jail or prison sentence, especially if it is the defendant’s first conviction. Probation is a suspension of the jail or prison sentence with the understanding that thedefendant will meet certain requirements that are imposed by the court. 2. Violation of probation requirements can result in being sent to jail or prison to serve out the remainder of the sentence behind bars. Often prosecutors know that people with lengthy probation sentences will find it difficult to comply with all of the requirements. So, in cases where they believe it will be difficult to get a conviction, they might agree to a plea bargain allowing community supervision for a long period. II.Main Topic – The Criminal Justice Processa. There are several procedural steps that occur after a person is arrested and prior to the determination of guilt or innocence. In Texas, as in most other states, this process may take months or even years. The major procedural steps include arraignment and posting bail, grand jury indictment, pretrial hearing, trial and sentencing, district attorneys, and the criminal defense.

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