MCLawCh2notes

MCLawCh2notes - Chapter 2: Legal Procedure How the judicial...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 2: Legal Procedure How the judicial system works. Mass Comm practitioners will find this useful when navigating trial events and describing court decisions Categories of Laws Substantive Laws Principles for acceptable behavior, along with prescribed punishments for their violation Procedural Laws These set out the legal rules for determining when and how the substantive laws will be applied They set the rules for trials and appeals See murder example, p.29 Judicial Procedure Three categories of laws for which we have different rules of procedure: Criminal Laws Prosecuted in the name of the sovereign (complaintant) vs. the accused (defendant) Government prosecutor has the burden of proof and must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt Civil Laws Evolved through both common law and statutes in the U.S. Enforced by lawsuits brought by private individuals against other private individuals (includes orgs.) The Plaintiff () initiates the suit and the Defendant () answers it. Burden of proof on P; need to prove case by a preponderance of the evidence (51%) Juvenile Laws Relate to treatment of people under age of 18, who have committed a crime or who are victims of abuse/neglect Most jurisdictions combine aspects of both civil and criminal law Criminal Procedure Most states use 4 categories of crime based on seriousness; these are: Felonies Usually carry heavy ($2K+) fines and significant incarceration (3 years to life in state or federal penitentiary). Capital punishment used in some jurisdictions Numbers or letters used to signify seriousness (lowest number =most serious) Misdemeanors Less offensive crimes than felonies $1K or less and 1 year or less in jail (county) Petty Offenses Minimal crimes (driving offenses, code/ordinance violations) Fines only, less than $500 Some states use this designation for industrial/corporate violations that come with hefty fines. Other states dont use it at all Juvenile Offenses Pretrial Procedure We study it because of media interest and Litigation PR Charge Documents 3 ways to be charged with a crime: Warrantless Arrest Based only on police reports; quite common Usually have 48 hours to hold to decide to charge, then must go before a magistrate to make it official Pretrial Procedure Charge Documents (contd) 3 ways to be charged with a crime: Warrantless Arrest Grand Jury Process Prescribed by the U.S. Constitution (see p. 32) Grand jury consists of a group of people called by the prosecutor to conduct an official investigation into the commission of crimes, seated for a specified period of time At end of that time, grand jury disbanded and new panel sworn in Members are paid, but not much Pretrial Procedure Charge Documents (contd) 3 ways to be charged with a crime: Warrantless Arrest Grand Jury Process (contd)...
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course MCOM 3320 at Texas Tech.

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MCLawCh2notes - Chapter 2: Legal Procedure How the judicial...

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