19 Nov 2022


Types and Common Tests for Legal Jurisdiction

Format: APA

Academic level: High School

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 853

Pages: 1

Downloads: 0


Legal jurisdiction refers to the legal power accorded to a court of law to rule over different cases in a certain geographic area or to deal with cases based on their legal terms. For instance, legal courts within the New York City are mandated to deal with cases within the city and not from outside it. Also, municipal courts within the United States of America are entitled by the law to deal with criminal cases involving small amounts of money while county courts are supposed to deal with criminal cases involving large sums of money (Parrish, 2019). Types and common tests on the other hand refer to the procedures that are followed by the courts of law to deliver a ruling on a certain case. These types and common tests include the stages from when a case is filed in the court and all the hearings until a final judgment is given. Criminal cases in the United States of America usually go through four stages, namely, burden of proof stage, pretrial stage, trial stage and finally the sentencing stage. 

Burden of Proof 

The United States of America’s constitution legally recognizes only two court system; that is the state courts and the federal courts. State courts are more operational in the US and usually deal with cases to do with domestic issues, traffic cases and other criminal cases. A case must be filed at the right court for it to proceed (Nagel, 1962). Cases filed at the wrong courts are usually dismissed no matter how weighty they might appear to be. In the U.S court system, all criminal allegations are first reported to the local police by the accusers. A court case is filed at the right court through the help of the security agencies. Any criminal case in the U.S involves three parties; the accuser, the accused and the government and the burden of proof concerning any criminal case solely lies with the government. The accused is allowed by the attorney general’s office to hire a lawyer for defending him or her. In cases where the accused cannot afford counsel, then they are advised of their right to a court-appointed attorney. 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay


During the first court appearance, all charges brought forward by the accuser are read to the accused for him or her to plead guilty or not guilty. The judge then determines whether the accused should be held in jail to await his or her trial, or whether he or she should be released and await the trial stage from outside. In the case of the United States of America, it has been recorded that over ninety percent of accused persons plead guilty on the first hearing (Nagel, 1962). This is because the law allows for a much lenient penalty for accused persons who plead guilty on the first hearing. If an accused person pleads guilty during the first hearing, then the judge is supposed to set a date for the next hearing; a stage where sentence is passed to the accused. Accused persons who do plead not guilty during the first court hearing are made to go through a trial stage as it provided by the law. 


Most criminal cases in the United States of America do not reach the trial stage because most of them have enough evidence and proof on the crimes that one is accused of. A large percentage of these criminal cases end at the pretrial stage and judgment is given. At this stage, the charges are read again to the accused by the court judge. The accused is given a chance to defend himself or herself by the court (Michaels, 2006). There are also witnesses at this stage who are mostly the government security agencies. At this stage, if an accused person is found guilty, then he or she is held in the jail to wait for the judgment stage. If an accused person is found not guilty at the trial stage, then he or she is released and the government does not necessarily need to file an appeal because the law does not allow for double trial on the same offense. Such a person is set free by the court. 


Accused persons who are found to be guilty by the evidence given to the court are the ones who reach the sentencing stage. At this stage, a judge is required by the law to impose a sentence on the accused in relation with the crime one committed. The United States of America’s constitution provides sentencing guidelines which are contained in the U.S Sentencing Commission guidelines (Michaels, 2006). The judges usually refer to these guidelines while giving a sentence to guilty persons. There are different forms of sentences that can be imposed on the guilty persons by the judge. The forms of sentences include a fine which is usually paid to the government, a restitution which is paid to the crime victims in terms of money and jail term which involve spending time in the government jails. A single court sentence may be a combination of a jail term and a fine to the government or a combination of a jail term and restitution to the crime victims. The guilty persons are handed over to the prisons’ authorities where they are made to serve their jail terms. Prison authorities take full charges of the guilty persons and take them through the prisons’ regularities which may include vocational trainings and character change lessons among others. 


Parrish, A. (2019). Judicial Jurisdiction: The Transnational Difference. (Online). Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3239552 

Nagel, S. (1962). Testing Relations between Judicial Characteristics and Judicial Decision-Making. 15(3): 425-437. (Online). Downloaded on https://www.jstor.org/stable/445033?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents 

Michaels, R. (2006). Two Paradigms of Jurisdiction. 27(4): 1-46. (Online). Downloaded on https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1197&context=mjil 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Types and Common Tests for Legal Jurisdiction .


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

Climate Change Pattern around the World

Running head: CLIMATE CHANGE PATTERN AROUND THE WORLD 1 Climate Change Pattern around the World Name Institutional Affiliation Climate Change Pattern around the World It is now an accepted fact that the world’s...

Words: 690

Pages: 2

Views: 93

Autism Myths: Debunking the Misconceptions

The patient portal is a 24-hour internet application that the patients use to access their personal health information. The first patient’s website was established in 1998 but the patient portal was rolled out in...

Words: 1480

Pages: 5

Views: 154

Pros and Cons of Cancer Treatment

The project is about the pros and cons associated with the treatment of cancer patients. Patients who have cancer may benefit from the advantages of cancer treatment and suffer the consequences of the treatment...

Words: 359

Pages: 1

Views: 453

Human Mitochondrial DNA: Functions, Mutation, and Inheritance

2 Summary of Three Papers Human mitochondria DNA is characterized by circular double-stranded molecules that are separable through the process of configuration density. The comprehension of the various roles and...

Words: 1377

Pages: 5

Views: 134

What is Team Learning?

Teamwork is becoming paramount in organizations to achieve their objectives, but there are concerns that collaboration may limit individuals from reaching their career goals. Most teams are based on ensuring that a...

Words: 408

Pages: 1

Views: 199

What is Gentrification? Causes, Effects & Solutions

Gentrification refers to the conversation of farm buildings to dwelling places. The wealthy people mostly do gentrification by moving in from the outside community leading to the rise of the socio- economic status of...

Words: 293

Pages: 1

Views: 125


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.