45

It is the jury's job to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses, and it is the judge's job to inform them of that responsbility. It is not appropriate, however, for the judge to indicate to the jury what answer they should come to on those questions. In Quercia v. United States, 289 U.S. 466 (1933), the defendant in a drug case took the stand to deny the ...


34

You should file a complaint with the police. If you complain to the police then they might do something. If you don't complain then they certainly won't. Are food trucks licensed? You might try complaining to the license authority. However go to the police first because the licence authority are unlikely to do anything without a police complaint. Even ...


34

A lawsuit would be unsuccessful. Prosecutors have discretion to prioritize whichever offenses they think are most important, and they are generally immune from civil liability. This is a political grievance, and it comes with a political remedy; voters can recall the DA or vote for a new one when his term ends.


22

united-states Bob could do any number of things to try to convince someone to prosecute Alice: call the prosecutor's boss, or the district attorney (or their equivalents in DOJ if it's a federal crime), or his elected representatives; he could also go to the media, or post on social networks... But if none of that works, the article is right: Prosecutors can'...


21

It is the judge's obligation to instruct the jury w.r.t. believing witnesses. This is the introductory instruction for criminal trials in Washington, which on that topic says You are the sole judges of the credibility of each witness. You are also the sole judges of the value or weight to be given to the testimony of each witness. In assessing credibility, ...


21

No. Police are not permitted to impose any punishment whatsoever. Their role in the American justice system is to prevent and investigate criminal offenses. What you're describing is a punishment for a criminal offense, even though it is imposed outside the criminal justice system. The same principles that prevent an officer from punching a suspect in the ...


21

The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" is inherent in our constitutional protections for due process. As far as I know, the Supreme Court first formally recognized it as a rule in Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432, 458-59 (1895): Now the presumption of innocence is a conclusion drawn by the law in favor of the citizen, by virtue whereof,...


20

You are correct. A judge may only issue a warrant when it is supported by an affidavit, in which the officer seeking the warrant swears under oath to the facts supporting the warrant. Lying on the affidavit would constitute perjury. But judges very frequently just rubber-stamp the warrants without meaningfully reviewing the affidavits, so the primary form of ...


18

I'm curious as to how the US legal system determines who should present evidence and how much evidence is required by them to prove one side of an argument against a counterargument. In General In both criminal and civil cases in common law legal systems (legal systems derived from the English legal system, basically, the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, ...


18

That's the entire point of a summary proceeding. You're allegedly found committing an offence, that isn't worth the court's time to hear but nevertheless requires some penalty. The only way to "unambiguously deny liability" is by requesting a hearing and denying liability in the notice of this. The court doesn't care what you say to everybody else, it ...


16

From the Federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975: 18C Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if: (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and (b) the ...


15

A not guilty plea is not part of the case of a defendant or a defense attorney. A "case" refers to evidence and argument made at trial (or conceivably in a pre-trial hearing). The rule in question specifically contemplates a defense attorney entering a not guilty plea for a client who has confessed to the lawyer that the client is guilty of the ...


14

If I unambiguously deny liability but do not ask for a hearing can the informant refer the mater to the district court for unpaid fines without a hearing having taken place? Yes, but not before they serve you with a reminder notice. Once they have done this, they may "provide particulars" of it to the Ministry of Justice (subsection 3), from which point, ...


12

Evidence obtained under a warrant supported by a falsely-sworn affidavit can be challenged as inadmissible, see Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, if the defendant makes a substantial preliminary showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in the warrant affidavit, and if ...


10

The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees assistance of counsel for the accused in all criminal prosecutions. The Fifth Amendment protects a person from being forced to self-incriminate. Taken together, in Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court interpreted this to mean that police cannot continue interrogation after you have requested an attorney. ...


10

The other answers are all generally correct. I'll add just a few additional points. But suppose Alice is a billionaire and she bribes the local prosecutor to not prosecute. What happens next? Presumably, if Bob can show the prosecutor was bribed he can make a new accusation against the prosecutor, but what if the bribe was clandestine? Presumably the ...


10

Almost every crime has a civil counterpart for the victim to sue for a judgement, and certainly any private property or personal violence related crime does. Victims of crimes can sue the perpetrator on their own if they have the resources to do so. As a practical reality, suing a homeless person to get back damages is a waste of money since the defendant ...


9

Trials in German criminal cases are generally open to the public (subject to exceptions similar to those in the U.S.) and there is a presumption of innocence until proof beyond a reasonable doubt establishes otherwise in its criminal justice system. The authority for this and the history of this are explored below. In a criminal case in Germany, according ...


9

You don't need to have an existing relationship with a lawyer to refuse to talk to the police. You can tell the police you want a lawyer before answering questions. Generally speaking, this should result in the police leaving you alone, giving you time to reach out to an attorney on your own timeline. This is of course a bit more complicated if you've ...


8

Under US law, the prosecution has the obligation to prove all of the elements of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt" (the exact explanation in the jury instructions varies from state to state, in aid of avoiding the inference that the defense has an obligation to create a doubt). The prosecution may have the advantage that the camera evidence has already ...


8

Innocence and guilt has nothing to do with remand or bail The common law presumption of innocence and the right not to be incarcerated without due process are not at all incompatible. The Constitution prescribes imprisonment in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments respectively: No person shall [...] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due ...


7

Prosecutorial discretion is a thing, however, Bob still has some recourses. In the U.S. the Prosectors are typically elected at the state and local level, and where they are not, they are appointed by elected officials. So if Bob is civic minded, he might spend some time campaigning for political rivals (either primary challengers OR general election ...


6

In the U.S., pretty much the only circumstance in which a proceeding like the one you contemplate could occur without the criminal defendant present physically in the courtroom would be one where the criminal defendant was physically present when the trial started (say on the morning of day 1) and then failed to return after a break in the proceedings ...


6

The General Rule: The Prosecutor And Not The Crime Victim Decides You are correct that this is mostly wrong. Pressing charges is something that happens. But, this simply consists of making a report to law enforcement about an incident and asking that the prosecutor either directly, or indirectly through a request directed to the law enforcement officer to ...


6

A person cannot be arrested for a misdemeanor by a police officer without a warrant unless the officer has probable cause that a person committed a misdemeanor in their presence. "Probable cause" is when the facts objectively support a belief that the person has committed a crime. If there is a total lack of evidence, then there is no probable cause or even ...


6

Only if counsel challenged the point during the trial Difficult as it might be, you can’t allow the judge to be wrong during the trial without calling them on it: very, very politely. For example, there is case law that says you can’t successfully appeal because the judge was asleep through significant parts of the trial; appeals courts are clear that you ...


6

In many countries, an individual has the right to raise a private prosecution if the public prosecutor decides not to pursue a case. This is generally expensive, as with all things legal. The reason for public prosecutors after all is to prevent justice being limited to the rich and denied to the poor. So there's a pretty high barrier to this - and since the ...


5

Police officers can lie to you He asked to search your car. He’s allowed to do this. You said no. You’re allowed to do this. He lied to you when he said he would get the K9 to search the car - this would not be legal. But he’s allowed to tell you lies. You made an admission of criminal activity. He now has probable cause to search. He legally searched, ...


5

Typically anything in the car that you can see from looking through your windows is "plain view" and the officer is allowed to "search" from plain view. You don't need to be anywhere near the car for him to do this if it's in public space. Unfortunately, once he becomes aware of a possible crime, he has greater search capability (you should not tell him ...


5

In the United States, jeopardy attaches to a criminal trial when a jury is empanelled, the first witness is sworn in or guilty plea is accepted. Before that point the prosecution can dismiss the case without prejudice, allowing for charges to be brought again. After that point the prosecution can only dismiss the case with prejudice, effectively resulting ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible