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An introduction to federal courts

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A brief introduction to the federal court system. Excellent presentation for undergraduate introduction to criminal justice courses. Parts 2 through 4 to be uploaded soon.

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An introduction to federal courts

  1. 1. An Introduction to Federal Courts Part One Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.) Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  2. 2. Adversarial System • US Attorney (Government) • Defense (Individual) – Private Attorney – Defender Organizations • Federal Public Defender • Non-profit groups Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  3. 3. Magistrate versus Judge Judge • Appointed by President • Lifetime appointment • Congress cannot change salary • Can conduct all judicial proceedings; must conduct felony trials. Magistrate • Appoint in District by Judge • 8 year term • Depending on District, can conduct most Judicial functions, except felony trials. Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  4. 4. Probable Cause • The reasonable belief that a specific person committed a specific crime. – Basis of arrest – Basis of complaint/affidavit – Basis of Indictment – Basis of a finding of guilty Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  5. 5. Terms to Know • Objection: Statement of opposition to an aspect of a legal proceeding. • Motion: Application made to a court or judge to obtain an order, ruling, or direction. • Hearing: Proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue . • Jurisdiction: The power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law. • Hold: To rule as the holding of a case. • Waiver: The act of intentionally or knowingly relinquishing or abandoning a known right, claim, or privilege. • Complaint: A document sworn to by a victim or police officer that sets forth a criminal violation and that serves as the charging instrument by which charges are filed and judicial proceedings commenced against a defendant. • Affidavit: A sworn statement in writing made esp. under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer. Findlaw.com Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  6. 6. Indictment “a formal written statement framed by a prosecuting authority and found by a grand jury that charges a person or persons with an offense.” Findlaw.com Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  7. 7. Trials Outcome • Guilty • Not Guilty Method • Trial by Jury • Trial by Judge Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster Guilty under the law, not factually guilty
  8. 8. Constitutional Supremacy Constitution Federal Law State Law Local Law Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  9. 9. Federal Crimes • Activities regulated by the Federal Government; • Activities affecting Federal operations; and, • Acts committed on Federal Property. Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  10. 10. Assimilated Crimes Act • The Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13, makes state law applicable to conduct occurring on lands reserved or acquired by the Federal government as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 7(3), when the act or omission is not made punishable by an enactment of Congress. Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  11. 11. Interstate Commerce Clause A clause in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce and commerce with foreign countries and that forms the constitutional basis for much federal regulation. Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  12. 12. Federal Governance • Legislative Branch creates criminal and other statutes; • Executive branch decides which crimes are enforcement and prosecuted; and, • Judicial Branch decides matters of law. Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  13. 13. Confidential Communications A communication between parties to a confidential relation (as husband and wife, attorney and client, or doctor and patient) such that the recipient of the communication has a privilege exempting him or her from disclosing it as a witness called also privileged communication. Findlaw.com Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster
  14. 14. Questions Copy Right 2013 Raymond E. Foster