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Common-law marriage is recognized and children are considered legitimate; ... Pardons and Paroles may recommend one of three types of clemency to the governor: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LAW

  • CHAPTER 11
  • LAW
  • AND

Civil and Criminal Law Compared
  • Civil Law
  • Private rights and individual relationships
  • Obligations
  • Responsibilities
  • Plaintiffs initiate suits
  • Remedy is relief or compensation
  • Criminal Law
  • Public Morality
  • Concepts of right and wrong
  • Public officials prosecute
  • Remedy is punishment

Types of Civil Law, I
  • Common law judge-made law, written or not based
    on precedents (prior cases)
  • The family is protected by civil law in Texas
  • Common-law marriage is recognized and children
    are considered legitimate
  • Texas is a community property state
  • Titles to homesteads cannot be lost in a civil
    suit except to satisfy tax liens or types of

Types of Civil Law, II
  • Eminent domain state and local governments may
    take private property for public purposes but
    must provide compensation
  • Owners may sue governments to invalidate policies
    that devalue property by 25 or more
  • An owner may gain ownership of anothers property
    through adverse possession

Types of Civil Law, III
  • Chartering corporations corporations secure
    permission from the state to conduct their
    legitimate business
  • Charters define structure, purpose, and
  • Serve as legal persons who can sue, be sued, or
    be fined for criminal activity

Issues in Civil Law, IV
  • Tort reform restrictions regarding such issues
    as frivolous lawsuits, limiting liability in
    civil cases, and capping jury awards especially
    regarding medical malpractice
  • Punitive damage judgments in excess of actual
    damages that are intended to punish the defendant
  • No-fault insurance insured persons collecting
    damages from their insurance company regardless
    of who is at fault in an accident

The Elements of Crime
  • The activities of the criminal justice system are
    primarily state, not federal, functions
  • A crime is an act that violates whatever an
    authorized body defines as the law
  • Types of crime include
  • Felonies (serious crimes)
  • Misdemeanors (minor crimes)

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The Criminal
  • Criminals are those who are unwilling to accept
    the mores the people who write the law
  • Disproportionately young, poor, and members of
    racial or ethnic minority groups
  • In 2005 males accounted for 90 of Texans
    arrested for burglary, 88 for robbery, and 79
    for aggravated assault
  • Minority group members are arrested
    disproportionately for crime
  • Most violent crimes are committed by those who
    are on the fringe of society
  • White-collar crimes include bribery, tax fraud,
    business fraud, price fixing, and embezzlement

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The Victim
  • Outrage against crime is largely directed toward
    violent crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery
  • Victimless crimes are those whose primary victims
    are the criminals themselves
  • Victims have the right to be informed of
    investigations and court proceedings against the
    accused and have impact statements taken into
    account during sentencing

Law Enforcement
  • The state system of law enforcement was not
    planned for efficiency and coordination but
    evolved slowly as government reacted haphazardly
    to changing circumstances

State Agencies, I
  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS) considered
    to be the most important
  • Director is appointed by the Public Safety
  • Several divisions dealing with vehicle
    inspections, collecting crime statistics,
    narcotics, intelligence
  • The largest division is the highway patrol
  • The most famous division is the Texas Rangers

State Agencies, II
  • The Alcoholic Beverage Commission enforces
    state regulations regarding the manufacture,
    sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages
  • The Commission on Law Enforcement officer
    Standards and Education sets minimum legal
    qualifications for peace officers and their

Local Agencies
  • Up to 30 of total budgets for large cities and
    counties go to law enforcement
  • Texas state government spends only about 1
  • The principal units are
  • Sheriffs departments
  • Constables
  • City police

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What the Police Agencies Do
  • Prevent crime
  • Detect crime
  • Enforcement of the law
  • Gather evidence
  • Arrest suspects
  • Detention

The Courts, I
  • The courts must blend two conflicting goals of
  • To protect society according to legal concepts of
    right and wrong
  • To protect the rights of the accused individual

The Courts, II
  • After an arrest the suspect is jailed and an
    arraignment is held for the purposes of
  • To explain the charges against the accused
  • To remind the suspect of their rights (Miranda
  • To set bail
  • To inform the accused of the right to an
    examining trial

Formal Charges
  • Felony cases are usually bound over to a grand
    jury for indictment after arraignment
  • Is there a prima facie case?
  • If so, then a true bill is issued by the grand
  • If not, then a no bill is issued

Pretrial Hearings
  • After an indictment a defendant has the right to
    a second arraignment
  • A district judge presides
  • The defendant enters a plea
  • The case is placed on the docket
  • Motions are presented

Plea Bargaining
  • Most cases end in a plea bargain due to
    overcrowded dockets and limited staffs. The
    results may include
  • Deferred adjudication
  • Lighter sentences than what was possible at trial

The Trial
  • Texas provides for the right to trial by jury in
    every criminal case
  • If a jury trial is waived the presiding judge
    determines the verdict
  • If it goes to trial, then a jury is selected and
    an adversary system is used to determine guilt or
  • Judges have great latitude in assessing penalties

Post Trial Proceedings
  • To protect a person from double jeopardy, an
    acquitted person cannot be tried again for the
    same offense
  • Prosecutors may appeal the reversal of a verdict
    by a higher court
  • Defendants may appeal guilty verdicts
  • Appeals from county and district courts go to 1
    of 14 courts of appeal
  • Very few trials are appealed to the federal
    courts except in cases of violations of the U.S.
    Constitution or federal law

Juvenile Courts
  • Most due process is recognized except rights to
    bail, grand jury indictments, and a public trial
  • Juvenile proceedings are civil matters and
    records may be sealed from the public
  • Juvenile felony arrest warrants may be entered
    into statewide computers
  • Children as young as 14 arrested for serious
    crimes may be tried as adults

Rehabilitation and Punishment, I
  • Texas jails and penitentiaries have several
  • Punishment
  • Deterrence
  • Protection of society
  • Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation and Punishment, II
  • The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates
    the systems of parole and imprisonment
  • The Board of Pardons and Paroles may recommend
    one of three types of clemency to the governor
  • Full pardons
  • Commutation
  • Reprieve

  • Jails generally fail to rehabilitate due to
  • Jails being operated by an elected official, the
  • Jail staffs and facilities are designed to
    maintain custody, not rehabilitate
  • Many in local jails serve time for crimes
    (gambling, prostitution, drunkenness) which are
    not amenable to rehabilitation in a jail

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