Final Paper

721 words - 3 pages

On November 18th, my class and I visited the Palm Beach County Detention Center and saw many different first appearances. A first appearance, also known as an initial appearance, is when the defendant is brought before the court and is informed of the charges filed against them, and whether or not they can post bail. For majority of the cases we saw in court the primary charge was domestic violence. Most people were able to have a bail amount set; there were a few who did not post bail. Then we took a tour of the jail. We saw the different areas where the different prisoners were kept, learned of their daily activities and basically what a “typical day” for them would be like.
The police play a very influential part because they get the criminals off the street and bring them to jail. Without the police officers, people would just commit crimes and think they could get away with them without any consequences. The judicial administration plays a crucial part; they process the different cases and determine who is found guilty and not guilty. Without them nobody will ever know who is truly innocent and who is truly guilty.
In court the defendants are given a first appearance, and are given the choice whether bail is available. For majority of misdemeanors a summary trial is conducted at the initial appearance. But for felonies the process is different. There is a preliminary hearing and that determines whether or not there is enough probable cause to back up the charges filed against the defendant. If a judge does believe there is enough then a grand jury will be indicted. There is a process in which the jury is selected. The jury is chosen from a venire, and a venire is just a pool of potential people that are going to be on the jury. But during a screening process called voir dire, people are eliminated because they are biased or incapable of coming to a decision. And court finds this out by asking a series of questions to the potential jurors. Once the jury is selected, the defendant goes to trial, and...

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