Article three of the United States constitution establishes the Judiciary arm of government. The judiciary structure of the United States in unique as it consists of two cardinal courts systems, which are different yet complementary. These include the state court system and the federal court system. The two systems are responsible for the determination of different cases and are entirely independent of each other. State trial courts vary in each state. However, there are two main sets of trial courts found in most states. These include limited jurisdiction trial courts that are concerned with family, probate and traffic cases, and general jurisdiction trial courts ( Neubauer & Meinhold, 2012). Limited jurisdiction trial courts are case specific. For example, the primal responsibility of a probate court is the administration of the deceased person's estate.
This court determines the distribution and administration of a deceased person’s property with regards to whether he died with or without a will. Matters that touch on divorce, child support, adoption, alimony and annulments get resolved by the family court. Municipal courts handle city ordinance violations; traffic courts handle traffic laws violations; juvenile courts handle cases involving minors while small claims courts handle matters concerning less than $ 5,000. On the other hand, trial courts of general jurisdiction hear both criminal and civil cases. They include courts of common pleas, circuit courts and superior courts. The main purpose of the state trial courts is to admit testimony and evidence of a case and arrive at a determination based on the finding of the facts that relate to the law being applied ( Siegel, 2009).
There exist a fundamental difference between state trial courts and state appeals courts, and state supreme courts. In a trial court, a case is heard for the first time. In contrast, appellate courts only get to hear a case if one party disagrees with the decision of the trial court ( Siegel, 2009). One, therefore, seeks review of the trial court’s decision in the court of appeal. If the defendant or plaintiff is still not contented with the decision of the appellate court, one can further appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruling is final and signifies the end of litigation. In trial courts, the ruling only impacts on the parties involved. On the other hand, appellate court decisions have a substantial impact on a number of people ( Hall, 2008). The rationale is that these decisions are binding on larger territorial units than trial courts. It is also vital to note that, in trial courts, the conflicting parties adduce evidence and witnesses to support their case before a jury or a judge, who makes a ruling based on the strengths of each case. However, in appellate and Supreme Courts, the judges will not hear new evidence and testimony. They will only review evidence heard by the lower courts and make a determination basing on applicable points of law ( Neubauer & Meinhold, 2012).
When a person gets arrested, and the police intent to charge him with the offence he will get booked. This is referred to as a booking procedure. The name and figure prints of the suspect are entered into police official records by the arresting officer. The crime alleged must also be recorded. The suspect’s personal belongings, for example, a watch and wallet will be taken from him for safekeeping. The suspect will sign the inventory to confirm any personal belonging. If the offence is a misdemeanor, one gets released, and a hearing date is arranged. One may require bail. Sometimes one can remain in remand until released by the court. If one is to be released by the court, one is expected to either plead guilty or not guilty. The court shall determine the conditions of release ( Siegel, 2009).
Hall, D. E. (2008). Criminal Law and Procedure. New York: Cengage Learning.
Neubauer, D. W., & Meinhold, S. S. (2012). Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States. New York: Cengage Learning.
Siegel, L. J. (2009). Introduction to Criminal Justice. New York: Cengage Learning.