The final project is the culmination of all of the techniques and styles that you have learned in this class and elsewhere. Your paper can be about any subject as long as it is has to do with the way that law interacts with law enforcement. For example, on the popular show, Law & Order and all of its spinoff shows, the author outlines the way that attorneys and other court personnel work with law enforcement such as police officers, border patrol agents, drug enforcement agents, probation officers, forensic technicians, etc. and how they interact within the law………….
Law enforcement agents are officers or any public sector employee whose main duty comprise of ensuring there is law and order for a peaceful correlation. These people are vested by the legislature in the legal code enhance peace in the community. Security guards may not be termed as law enforcement officers since they do not have the power accredited to them to enforce specific laws. Law enforcement officers in U.S include police officers, constables and their deputies, prison officers, probation officers, sheriffs, game wardens, forest rangers, fire marshals, federal Bureau of investigation agents, drug enforcement agents, united secret service agents, Federal air Marshals, border patrol agents, District attorney and the prosecuting Attorney investigators, U.S coast guards, among others as stipulated by the constitution.
Law enforcement agents do not make decisions for anyone’s charges. The purpose of the law enforcers is to make recommendations. The prosecutor is the only individual who makes charges against a criminal or a person suspected for breaking the law. In this essay, the legal procedures that are involved from the time of arrest to the time when a person is prosecuted will be addressed. This will entail the correct procedures that must be followed including what a person needs to do or avoid when dealing with the cops.
The cops can detain someone if they really have levelheaded notion that one committed the crime. It implies that for those who are not arrested are not allowed to leave, which is supposed to last for a very short time period. During detention the cops are not allowed to search the detainee’s pocket unless they feel any presence of a weapon. Most detentions may lead to an arrest if the cops get information that one was involved in a crime even if the crime has nothing to do with the detention. Cops may detain someone if they want to arrest him or her but lack enough information yet to do it.
Realistic doubts and plausible grounds
Realistic doubts must be founded on more than a hunch. The cops must be in a position to put their doubts into words. For instance, cops can not just stop anyone and deduce that he or she looked like he/she was up to something fishy. The doubts must be specific such as the “suspect was the only person at the scene of murder holding a blood clotted knife beside the murdered victim hence suspicion of his or her hand in the murder.” The cops usually require more evidence to allege that they have realistic suspicion (Wrobleski & Hess, 2005).
The cops can arrest one if they have a possible cause that one is involved in a crime. During the arrest, the cops can search the suspect’s belongings like going through one’s car, house or residence. The law provides that the officer searching a suspect to the skin must be of the same gender as the suspect. The law enforcement agent intending to arrest a suspect must present a warranty of arrest to the person. If they have a search warrant, no resistance whatsoever for search must not be put applied because they have the power to force themselves in at all cost (Elias, 2009).
The cops are only permitted to get into the room the suspect goes into; hence they should not be given any opportunity to be alone in any room while searching. The suspect must not get back into the house for any reason during the arrest as the cops can use that opportunity to plant or frame anything into the premise and make allegations for it. The police should then avail an appropriate transport depending on the size of the arrest of which the perpetrator is expected to cooperate. It is normally advised that the perpetrator must not give out any information unless under the presence of his or her attorney, because the cops can use any given information to make charges against a suspect. A perpetrator has a right to remain silent and seek the services of the attorney and no law enforcer must force information from the suspect (American Civil Liberties Union, 2011).
At most times it is recommended that one should take note of what is said and who said it. The suspect is expected to know the names of the cops arresting him or her, their badge numbers and descriptions of any witnesses present at the time of the arrest. Everything that happens must be recorded even if it means using a tape recorder of which one must be careful not to get noticed. Observing the cops actions and documenting every action may prevent them from abusing the suspect or his/her friends. Sometimes the police might be aggressive especially when they intend to do anything illegal (Hess & Orthmann, 2008).
The cops take fingerprints and photos, extracts information about the identity and medical issues of the perpetrator; however the suspect is not obliged to sign anything. No any other information is supposed to be given other than the name, date of birth and the address. It’s normally legally safe to remain silent until one sees an attorney and the enforcers have the obligation of respecting a suspects’ rights which protects them from interrogation. There is no way one can predict the kind of information the cops might try to apply or how they are going to use against perpetrators in the court of law. The police can lie about one not being a suspect but only helping them to know the truth.
Anything said by the suspect can be used by authorities against the suspect and his or her friends in the court of law. One of the main tasks of the cops is to extract information from the people. They are trained to be manipulative, lie or sometimes use any form of scruples to get information. Any person must exercise care when dealing with the police at all times hence the strong appeal to all not give any information unless accompanied by an attorney. This requires one to know his or her rights when being arrested and interrogated (Bergman & Berman, 2011).
The cops can book one in a holding cell before booking, after booking or in the middle of booking. The suspect or the perpetrator is expected to cooperate or not to cooperate depending on the manner in which the law enforcers are respecting the suspect’s rights. Sometimes the cops are devious and they might try to coerce one into giving them information. This is normally common when they do not have enough evidence to hold a perpetrator. They might lie about the perpetrators’ friends cooperating and leaving one a lone (Bennell & Snook, 2011).
Some may threaten about having enough evidence to convict one in the court of law and hence accepting the responsibilities might impress the judge into giving a fair ruling. Incase any suspect talks; the rest of the group usually goes down without much resistance. The golden rule is usually never to trust any cop as most of them may make one believe into what they tell. Nevertheless, a lawyer must be present before any question is answered. This is the one of the non-negotiable right a suspect has which can protects him or her from unfair justice commonly known as the sixth amendment (Hess, Orthmann & Cho, 2010).
A suspect can be granted bail after the initial arrest which contains the specific amount of cash that permits the defendant to be out of jail waiting trial date. The suspect is expected to adhere to proper court dates without skipping of which conformity to such conditions will give the defendant an opportunity to be refunded the bail. In case the defendant does not conform to this, then a warranty of arrest may be reissued towards the defendant. The next stage is the arraignment in court for pre-trial hearing against the defendant and the setting of future hearings. The initial bail amount can be amended or not amended depending on the decision by the jury.
These are hearings that are conducted before the main trial. During this period, verbal and written legal arguments are made and decided on by the judge. At this level it helps a lot if one can provide documents to prove what a good, harmless person he or she is and the ties one has with the community. During pre-trials the suspect’s charges are read where in the presence of attorneys on both sides the suspect makes a guilty or no guilty plea. The judge or the jury will then examine and assess the strength of the witnesses and the evidence presented and makes a ruling as to whether there is a case to answer or not (LaFave & Israel, 2008).
The defense team and the prosecution team normally use the pre-trials to file motions before the judge. The motion is meant to address issues as to whether the court can suppress specific evidence, permit certain people to testify or if the charges can be dismissed for inadequate evidence for trial. However, if the court finds enough probable cause against the defendant, then he or she will stand a trial. The defendant’s experience together with the help from the friends and the counsel can help a lot to mount a meticulous defense (Gorman, 2011).
At the onset of the trial the criminal defendant is given further rights by the U.S constitution. In an effort to protect an innocent defendant from convictions at all costs, it is only permitted that the prosecution to prevail over the presumption of innocence by the defendant if they can prove defendant’s guiltiness past reasonable doubt. This is in contrast to civil trial’s much lesser standards in which the claimant must only prove an allegation by a prevalence of the evidence. In this way the innocent defendant is protected from unlawful prosecution and sentencing.
One particular right given to the defendant is the right to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. This is derived from the Right to confront clause contained in the Sixth Amendment. This was taken by the U.S Supreme Court in Giles v. California (2008). In this particular case, after a domestic violence that led into the murder of a woman, a court’s admission of the murder victim’s declarations under the theory of forfeiture by wrong doing was overturned by the Supreme Court. This decision was reached by the Supreme Court because the framers did not realize the penalty exclusion to altercation clause at the time the constitution was found.
The same Sixth amendment assures a defendant the right to be assisted by a counsel during the process of trial. The State is obligated to offer attorney if the defendant can not afford one. Defendants of this category normally obtain legal representation from the Office of the Public Defenders. At every stage of the proceedings the defendant must have access to his or her counsel. The law demands that if the defendant calls for the presence of a counsel during police cross-examination, the police must immediately halt the grilling until the attorney is present.
Before the main trial there can be numerous pre-trial hearings depending on the intensity of the case. One can get a 6 to 12 person jury or the judge only depending on the jurisdiction and the probable sentences for the suspect’s charges. In a situation where the defendant insists on his or her right to speedy trial, the trial can take place within 30-90 days, depending on the weight of the case and whether one is in custody or not (U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C.,2011). The lawyer with the help of the defendant’s friends and own personal testimony, can help in research and investigation to gather evidence and display them in court to support the accused. Both sides offer opening and closing statements in turns after which a verdict is given by the jury or the judge.
Sentencing normally occurs immediately after the closing remarks by the prosecution. Minor infringements may include penalties, fines, probations, restitution to the victims, community service or alcohol and drug rehabilitation. In some serious violations the sentencing may be done by the judge alone while others usually enter sentencing phase trial with a new jury to determine the sentence for specific crimes. At this stage, the defense avails extenuating factors while the prosecution avails infuriating factors. The U.S constitution is interpreted by the U.S Supreme Court to safeguard the rights to a jury giving sentences for defendants due for capital punishment.
Prior to the issuance of the sentence by the judge or the jury, the defendant is allowed to make an allocution. This gives the defendant an opportunity to address the judge directly without the help of the attorney. At this moment the defendant may make a personal explanation of any unfamiliar facts, may plead for mercy or give an act of contrition for the unlawful conduct. The jury then announces the sentence according to the constitution as he feels appropriate to the case presented.
Making an appeal
In circumstances where the accused feels that the trial was not fair or just an appeal may be made to the Supreme Court. This is with the aim of overturning the ruling made during the trial. Sometimes appeals are made due to problems experienced in the trial and the accused feels that the sentence given was unfair. The appeal can also made by the claimant if he or she feels that the ruling made was not sufficient in relation to crimes or wrongs committed. During appeals, a group of juries or judges may be selected to evaluate the facts presented and the trial’s hearings and make their own verdict or sentences.
Many people deal with law enforcers like the cops and drug enforcement agents in different types of circumstances. As discussed in the essay, one must make an informed decision about how to interact with the law enforcers amicably. It is very important for one to know his or her rights when dealing with the law enforcers. In particular, it is advised that one must know how to decide and when to use the legal to protect oneself from harm. As mentioned also the law enforcers; the cops in this case may use different tricks just to make the suspect give them any tangible information to arrest him or her of which any person must be aware of them to ensure a fair legal proceedings.
On the other hand, serious issues have been discussed in the essay which requires consideration by law enforcement agents. The essay has addressed the cops in specific but this does leave other law enforcement agents. They are all mandated to provide peace in the co-existence of mankind but not create tension among the innocent. The Federal government must therefore ensure that the right procedures are followed in keeping peace and human rights protected accordingly.
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