Can’t make bail—stay in jail. Or so it sometimes seems. However, there are constitutional and other limits on how much bail a court can impose on a defendant, which can support the defendant’s request for bail reduction. This article discusses bail reduction hearings and related issues under federal law.
A determinate sentence is a jail or prison sentence that has a defined length and can’t be changed by a parole board or other agency. By contrast, an indeterminate sentence is one that consists of a range of years.
If you are charged with a crime or issued a traffic ticket, you may be ordered to appear in court. Skipping that court date could result in more serious consequences than even a conviction on the underlying charge.
If you discover that a bench warrant or arrest warrant has been issued against you or that you have missed a court hearing that you were ordered to attend, the most important thing to do is take action immediately. If you missed court, the judge may have issued a bench warrant for your arrest.
There are several important differences between civil and criminal court. In general, civil courts are designed to resolve differences when private individuals or businesses can no longer reach an agreement on their own. Criminal courts are designed to determine whether a person has violated a criminal law, and if so, punish the offender.
If you have been convicted of a crime before, and become a repeat offender, you will be subject to more harsh penalties and prison time that varies state to state. Of course, you cannot be convicted of the same crime twice because that would violate....
If you are convicted at trial or plead guilty to a crime for which the judge can sentence you to jail or prison, the judge can suspend all or part of the sentence and place you on probation (supervised or unsupervised). A suspended sentence can be an excellent alternative to serving a lengthy jail or prison sentence.
The overwhelming number of prosecutions for violations of federal, state, and local laws are brought by agents of the federal or state government—state prosecutors, district attorneys, and U.S. Attorneys. But suppose a prosecutor declines to file charges despite the urging of a complaining victim, then what?
Criminal defendants have a Sixth Amendment right to a public trial by an impartial jury. An impartial jury must represent a fair cross-section of the community, which begins with a jury pool and then jury selection.
Malicious prosecution refers to a criminal or civil case that is filed without any basis and for an improper purpose, such as harassing the defendant, ruining another person’s reputation, or to knowingly place blame on someone other than the actual wrongdoer.
Statutes of limitations establish time limits for charging defendants with crimes. When the police charge a defendant with a crime after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant can have the charges dismissed.
The last thing anyone wants to face is being wrongly accused of a crime but, unfortunately, it can happen. A witness or victim can identify the wrong person, circumstances can lead police to think that an innocent suspect committed a crime, and an innocent person can even be formally charged with a crime he did not commit.
If you've never been in criminal trouble before, your first contact with the court system can be confusing and frightening. Police officers may have threatened you with jail or prison. Some official...
Shortly after arraignment, the court must conduct a proceeding—a preliminary hearing or a grand jury proceeding—where the state is required to present enough evidence to establish “probable cause” to believe that the defendant committed the crime.
Even years after a criminal conviction, a criminal record can interfere with your ability to obtain employment, housing, and professional licenses. Is it possible to clear a criminal record after an arrest or conviction?