Monday, November 26, 2012

How to get out of speeding ticket. Pt.1

When a cop pulls you over for speeding there are several things that are going through your mind at the time. You feel a little guilty of course, you are in disbelief that you were speeding or caught speeding, you are angry that the cop chose YOU over others to pull over, you are likely to also be a little upset about the ticket you may or may not be about to receive.

As the cop pulls you off to the side of the road, do the following: Turn off the engine, place the keys on the roof of your car, turn on the lights inside of your car, remove any hats, sunglasses, or any head wear. Make sure to place your hands on the steering wheel. By doing all of these things you are being completely submissive to the officer. You are also creating a comfortable and "safe" environment that the officer is not used to.

One approach to take is the polite one. Be respectful and kind to the officer at every turn. Cops have to deal with a lot of d-bags on a day-to-day basis. By acting unlike the rest, he or she may treat you differently as well. When the officer asks you any questions, answer responsibly. In other words, let them know that you know you are guilty. Acting as if you didn't do anything wrong, when the officer's job is to find people that do "wrong" things will likely offend the officer. In the polite approach, you do not want to spark any negative emotions in the officer.

Next week I will go over a few different approaches that you can take. See you next week for another post on Men in Blue.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


If the defendant is found guilty, he or she may be tried in the same jury trial in which the defendant was just convicted in. However, depending on the number of crimes the defendant is being tried for or the seriousness of those crimes, the judge may decide to appropriate another day for the sentencing of the defendant. Since the defendant is already convicted, he or she will be in jail until the day of sentencing.

On the day of sentencing, the judge will determine the most applicable form of punishment according to the U.S. sentencing guideline. There are several other factors that play a role in the type of sentencing/ or length of sentencing. The defendants criminal background will be taken into account, his or her remorse for the crime committed, the victims' "pain" or the emotional/physical pain inflicted on the victims' family. The defendants personal background will also be noted, anything significant in the defendants' life will be seen.

Once the judge determines the appropriate sentence, which could include several different courses of treatment depending on the factors listed above and the crime or crimes committed, he or she will enforce the sentence immediately. The defendant may be released on probation and ordered to do community service, or could be sentenced to prison for the rest of their life. No one case is the same, every sentence is applied to each situation accordingly.

Thanks for following my weekly blog on criminal court proceedings. Next week will start a completely new edition of Men in Blue. I hope you are as excited as I am. See you than.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trial Part 2

After the prosecution makes its rebuttal. The judge will convey a set of instructions to the jury. Following this, the prosecution will make it's closing argument. In the closing argument the prosecution will re-present all of the evidence to the jury. They will try to prove why the defendant is guilty of the charges he or her are charged with. The defense than gets a chance show the the court why the defendant is not guilty. The defense will do exactly hat the prosecution did, but is rather trying to prove innocence than guilt.
When the defense rests, the prosecution can follow with a rebuttal. Again getting another chance to poke holes through the defense's case. As the trial nears an end, the judge will give a final set of instructions to the jury before they deliberate. When the judge is finished, the jury will leave the courtroom in order to debate on the defendant's verdict. For a felony case, all the jurors have to agree on a verdict. However in some states, for lesser crimes, the vote may be a unanimous 10-2  or 9-3 decision.
When the jury give its verdict, if guilty, the defense usually has post-trial motions. The post-trial motions consist of the defense asking the judge to acquit the defendant of the charges or to retry the case.

Next week i will go into details of the sentencing process. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Trial

The fourth stage in criminal court is the trial. This is the most challenging and crucial part of criminal court proceedings. The trial stage is where the prosecution will try to prove the defendant’s guilt. On the other side, the defense will attempt to prove the defendants innocence. Trials will often be held in front of a jury. However if both sides agree, a bench trial may be used. A bench trial is where there is no jury; the judge will therefore act as the jury. 
At the start of the trial, the prosecution will give its opening statement. This will generally outline all the evidence, and show the jury how the prosecution will prove the defendant’s guilt. The defense may or may not make an opening statement. The defense's opening statement could be held until the prosecution proves its case or it will be given right after the prosecutions.
Next the "case-in-chief" will occur. This is where the prosecution will first call witnesses to the stand, and will present its evidence to the jury. After the prosecution rests, the defense may cross examine the prosecution's witnesses. After the defense rests, the prosecution can reexamine their witnesses in order to recover from the defense's testimony.

Due to the long nature of the trial procedure, I will be continuing the trial segment next week. Have a great week, see you next time on Men in Blue.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preliminary Hearing

     The third possible stage in criminal court proceedings is the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is not necessary if the defendant pleads guilty or no contest. The preliminary hearing must be held within 30 days of the arrest unless the suspect waives his or her rights' to a speedy trial.Defendants have the right to "pro se", or to legally represent themselves in this hearing.
     A preliminary hearing is held in front of one judge, without a jury, and it will be held in open court.  Open court is where people from the public are granted to watch. What will be conducted at this hearing is a determination of probable cause to the defendants case.
     The prosecutor will possibly bring witnesses to the stand to be questioned. You the defendant will also be able to bring your own witnesses and testimonies to the stand during this stage. However, during the preliminary hearing the defendant does not have to prove his innocence. Rather, the prosecutor has to at least prove probable cause of your guilt. By the end of the hearing the judge will decide to dismiss the charges, reduce the charges filed against you, or will make you stand trial in front of a jury.

    Thank you for reading, next week I will be covering an in depth look at the "trial" part of the criminal proceedings.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Preliminary Arraignment

          The preliminary arraignment is the second stage in the criminal process. As the defendant there are a few things to know before heading into your hearing. The preliminary arraignment is not a trial, there will be no jury to hear your case. What you will encounter is a judge,  your defense lawyer(not required), and yourself. All that happens during this process is the judge will review the criminal complaint that was filed against you, you will be given a copy of the complaint and will be read your rights again. The judge will than schedule a date for the preliminary hearing.  This hearing will be scheduled 3-10 days after your initial arraignment.This event does not take up very much time, at the most this could take up to 3 hours. Ultimately this is the shortest step in the criminal court proceedings.As a result of this hearing, you will neither be found guilty or innocent.  

Next week i will cover the next step in the criminal court proceedings; the preliminary hearing. Thank you for reading, ill see you next week at Men in Blue.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The arrest

At the start of the criminal court process, you the suspect will be arrested based on the suspicion of a crime committed. Believe it or not, you do not have to be put into handcuffs to be arrested. The charges may be sent to your mailing address per the district court you live near. If there are charges against you, you are or were arrested. I will continue this post however, as if you were handcuffed and charged with a crime in person. The arresting officer will have gathered enough intelligence on the crime, the victim or victims, the suspected criminal, and possibly some witnesses to at least charge you with a crime.

At the time of arrest you may be read your Miranda rights, which are the rights of you being a U.S. citizen. Here is what an officer may say "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.", as you can see you do not have to say anything to the police officer as you are arrested. Before studying criminal justice i had the impression that if an officer questioned me i had to answer, many people do not exercise this right and end up either admitting to the crime, or hinder their chance of receiving a non guilty verdict. You are also told that you have the right to an attorney(lawyer) and if you are indigent(too poor), a public defender will be appointed to you. A public defender is a lawyer that is appointed by the court system free of charge, the difference between a lawyer you choose and a public defender is the quality of the attorney. A lawyer that you may choose will be one of your liking, a public defender can be lawyer fresh out of law school.

After you are; read your rights, handcuffed, and put into the back of the police car, you will than either be driven to the local police precinct or to your preliminary arraignment. I will cover more on this next week.

Thank you for stopping by, see you next week for another post on Men in Blue.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Police Tactics

This is the proper way to use a pit maneuver to stop a fleeing criminal in a vehicle.