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Consulting with an after hours doctor can be a great benefit for members of the community who struggle to visit their general practitioner on location. Whether that is due to mobility issues, time constraints or for pure convenience where age and ailments make the...
The criminal justice system in the United States of America consists of three basic institutions which are:
- Law enforcement – Any case begins with the law enforcement officials investigating a crime to gather evidence against the presumed perpetrator.
- Court System – It further continues with the court weighing the evidence to determine if the defendant is guilty as charged.
- Corrections – If this is proven, the corrections system will ensure the criminal receives the punishment he/she deserves through incarceration and probation.
It is essential to understand that through each stage of the process, constitutional protections exist to deliver justice and ensure that the accused is allowed his/her rights.
Step 1: Law Enforcement
The two most important of these rights are the Miranda advisement and the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Miranda rights are the familiar phrase, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” Officers must remind the accused of these rights before they proceed any further.
The prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures makes it compulsory for officers to obtain a search warrant, without which they are not permitted to search the home of a suspect.
Step 2: Court System
One of the confinements on the court’s capacity to prosecute a case incorporates the privilege to stand up to one’s accusers, the right against implicating one’s self, the opportunity to counsel, and the privilege to a jury trial.
The defendant has the privilege to be represented by either a lawyer of their picking or if they can’t bear the cost of one, a court-designated counsel. The jury must be a reasonable cross-section of the community, which by and large won’t result in a panel comprised of a particular race or gender.
Step 3: Corrections
If convicted and punished to imprisonment, the accused will be sent to the corrections system to serve their term. This comprises of probation, incarceration, or both.
Probation can be either monitored or unmonitored. Probation that is monitored requires the offender to regularly check in with an officer to ensure compliance with the terms of his probation. Unmonitored probation means that an individual only faces imprisonment if they evade law any further.
Incarceration too is a common result of criminal trials and more so in case of serious criminal charges. The offender is housed subjected to a jail or prison term. Jails are usually for less serious offenses and do not exceed one year. Prison terms are longer than a year and are for serious crimes.
The possession of firearms is legal in the USA according to the Second Amendment of the constitution. Here are some interesting facts about the gun laws in the USA:
- Minimum age requirement
The minimum age according to the Gun Control Act of 1968 ( GCA) requires the citizens, and the legal residents must be 18 years of age to purchase guns such as shotguns, rifles, and ammunition. The other firearms such as handguns sold to people about the age of 21 and above. Local officials will implement higher age restrictions but are not allowed to lower the federal minimum.
- Who can purchase or possess firearms?
Criminals, people who are claimed to be a danger to the society and patients who are committed to mental institutions are the users who may not purchase the firearms. Citizens who have dealt with prison sentence exceeding a year or having prison sentences above two years are prohibited from buying weapons. The law has also blocked the sale of guns to people who have used them illegally or caught using controlled substances within the past year. Substances include marijuana, though legalized in some states but remains illegal under the federal law. The gun shop owners should possess a license from the ATF to operate. Some other restrictions are for people having restraining orders by the court to prevent harassment, threatening, etc.
- Who can have a License?
Like many handgun owners, sellers interested in having a Federal Firearms License ( FFL) should be 21 years of age or above. They must have an enclosure for conduction the business and must be aware of the law enforcement official at the time of submitting the applications to the federal bureau that regulates firearms. Same as the gun owners they should fulfill the criteria stating their history of any prior convictions and mental health. Also selling the guns online has the same regulations. The firearm purchased online but must be shipped to a registered FFL holder to conduct backgrounds checks of the owner.
- States permit to carry firearms
Many states ask for permits to carry the handguns. Taking the gun in a concealed or open manner varies from state to state whereas some states do not require you to possess a permit. The permit is not required by all the states to carry rifles and shotgun. In places like Massachusetts, new jersey, a firearms identification is needed to carry a rifle and a shotgun.
- States permit to purchase firearms
From the 50 states in the US, only a dozen states require purchase permits for handguns. Out of these states, three states; California, Connecticut, and Hawaii requires the permit to purchase of rifles. In California, the applicant is required to pass a written test and also enroll in a gun safety class to get the permit.
Human rights are the fundamentals of any given society across the globe. And the United States is one of the most significant patrons of Human rights, both nationally and globally.
Here are some of the fundamental human rights applicable to citizens and residents of the United States of America :
It is the fundamental right of anyone in the United States to be free of discrimination and be treated as equals in society. This broad banner covers equality regardless of race, gender, and disability. Others recently added under this banner are the LGBTQ and intersex community.
- Privacy –
Under the privacy right, the types of privacy offered constitutionally are the privacy of abortion, patients privacy to terminate medical treatment and sexual privacy, etc.
- Free and fair trial –
This section deals with the rights of criminal suspects and other civil cases. Under this, the suspects who cannot afford their attorney can demand council for a free and fair trial. Also, the person arrested must be informed about their rights.
- Right to practice religion –
Every person in the United States has the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, and there is no constitutional binding on the same. With this in mind, schools in the US are allowed to hold prayers before class or allocate silence for prayer.
- Right to Expression –
Freedom of expression, which includes speech, media, and public assembly is a crucial right and has special protection.
- Freedom to travel –
A citizen’s right to travel through public highways and the transit of his properties either by carriage or by automobile is a right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
- Freedom to join associations –
Freedom of association is an individuals’ right to become a part of groups for political action or to pursue common interests of the members of a group.
- The right to revolution –
Dissent is a fundamental right. It permits necessary action to overthrow a government that goes against public interests.
- Right to petition –
The right to request or pretention the government to either do or refrain from doing something. You can write to the politicians and ask them to work for the passage of laws in your favor or change the laws that you do not like.
- The right to enjoy other freedoms –
- Freedom to reside and travel anywhere in our nation
- Freedom to work at the desired job
- Freedom to wed and bring up a family
- Freedom to obtain a cost-free education in good public schools
- Freedom to become a member of a political party, a union, and other legal groups
Immigration laws in the U.S define an individual’s status of citizenship and residency, which binds them with the concerned rights and obligations. The law is also involved in the management of non-residents rights to residency, nationality, or visitation. Deportation too is a part of the immigration law. Here are some of the critical aspects of U.S’s Immigration Law that you must be aware of :
- In order to naturalize, you must be a green card holder for a minimum period of five continuous years and three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen spouse while a permanent resident yourself. Different rules apply to asylees, refugees, active military service members and veterans.
- If you have stayed abroad for a period of six months or more continuously, you need to explain the reason for your long absence. In case of absence for a year or more, you need to speak to an immigration law expert before you apply for U.S. citizenship.
- If you are the family of the following, you will qualify for permanent citizenship: the spouse of a U.S. citizen, daughter or son of a U.S. citizen (either married or single), unmarried daughter or son of a permanent resident, and sibling of a U.S. citizen.
- Children who are born illegitimate count as children or daughter or son when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services looks into a parent/child relationship.
- If you have met an immigration officer during your last visit to the United States, you can interview there for permanent residence, the process is called the adjustment of status, in case you are the spouse, parent ( Child must be above 21 ) or unmarried child, of a U.S. citizen.
- If you’re a recipient of the green card before age 18, and one of your parents is a citizen of the U.S.A, you automatically become a U.S. citizen.
- The authority to grant you legal immigration advice is only given to a lawyer, a paralegal under a lawyer, or an individual accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- The Visa Waiver Program permits citizens of specified countries to visit the U.S. for 90 days. This permit cannot be utilized to attend school, to work, or to apply for residency. The purpose is to promote tourism. A total of Thirty-seven countries are a part of this program.
- The Temporary Protected Status is for individuals currently in the U.S. and whose home countries are affected by natural disasters, war, or other temporary, dangerous circumstances. The law permits their stay in the U.S for an additional six, 12, or 18 months.
- Illegal immigrants are deported if they commit a crime once in the U.S. Things like not reporting a change of address and false documents can lead to deportation.