The American Criminal Justice System

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There are two types of courts within the American criminal justice system. The first is the federal court system, which Schmalleger (2015) defines as "a three-tiered structure of federal courts comprised of: US District Courts, US Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court" (p. 279). The second is the state court system. Many states have at least 3 court levels consisting of trial courts appeal cord into states Supreme Court. To make these courts properly function it takes many participants. Schmalleger (2015) defines the courtroom work group as “The professional Court room actors including judges, prosecutors, attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and others who earn a living serving the Court" (p. 291).
It is a judge’s primary duty
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This is an opportunity for the court to monitor the progress of the case, confirm that the defendant is complying with any conditions of release, and resolve any issues that may arise in the investigation of the allegations against you. According to Schmalleger (2015), certain states use preliminary hearings to double check against the possibility of unwarranted prosecution (p. 321). This is also used to determine if the defendant in competent to stand trial, meaning the person “has sufficient present ability to consult with his or her attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and the defendant has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceeding against him or her” (Schmalleger, 2015, p. 321). Schmalleger (2015) defines plea bargaining as “the process of negotiating agreement among the defendants, the prosecutors, and the court as to an appropriate plea and associated sentence in a given case” (p. 322). Plea bargaining can circumvent the trail process and reduce the time needed to resolve a criminal case. Most domestic violence cases will be charged as misdemeanors, many of which get settled via plea bargaining. This means the district attorney will present the defendant with a plea deal. (Woman 's Justice Center,

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