Courtroom Observation Essay

I attended the District Court at 201 West Picacho Ave on March 7, 2011. I sat in on judge Mike Murphy’s court. Judge Murphy started court promptly at 9:00 a. m. but before I got into the court I had to wait in a long line of about 30 people. then when I finally got to the court house door I had to go through a metal detector where I had to take off my belt and shoes and everything metal on my persons. Then I asked one of the officers working the metal dictator how I could ask to sit in on a criminal court that was going on this morning.

She then directed me to court room four.

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I asked the bailiff if it was ok for me to sit in on court today for my criminal justice class, and if the case where criminal matters. The bailiff then told me that yes these cases where criminal matters and as long as I am quiet and obey the court house rules I was welcome to come and sit and watch the court proceedings.

So I waited until the bailiff called everyone in and I went in as well and took a seat in the back row.

The first proceedings of the day was a case of minors in possession of alcohol, the bailiff called out the names of the defendant Nick M. I could not understand his last name. ) the defendant t came up to the table before the judge with his parent. The judge then asks him how he pleas and he pleads guilty. then the judges say he has to pay a fine of $775. 00 and do community service , as well as take a underage drinking class. The judge then stated that if Nick didn’t complete any of the three conditions that there would be greater concusses then he hand the paper work to the court secretary and the defendant then sits back in the seats he was called from after dismissed by the judge.

The next two cases are minors in possession as well and the judge hand out similar sentences that includes fines, community service and a underage drinking class. The next case after the three MIP cases was an DUI case for a defendant by the name of Chris Thomas. The Bailiff called his name and no on in the court room stood up. The bailiff called his name again and same results. The bailiff then hand the judge the paper work for the cases. the judge then wrote something on it and handed it to the secretary and as he did I heard him say warrant so I am thinking that Chris Thomas now has a warrant out for his arrest. he next case was an assault case the defendant in this case was called up by the bailiff and the charges was read and then he was asked how he pleaded and he stated not guilty. the bailiff then handed him some paper work that he had got from the judge and then he was told to see the court secretary to get his second court date. My reactions to the courtroom observation is that the court house generates allot of money in fines and get the community allot of committee service. They are a lot more player in the courthouse then the book states.

The bailiff and other officers that work in the court house are major players in the functions of the court house as well. The secretary is also very important she or he schedules continuing court dates and handles most of the paper work. The next court I attended is Magistrate Court is located at 110 Calle de Alegra and I sat in on judge Joseph Guillory courtroom proceedings. When I went to Magistrate Court it was the same thing as district court. I arrived early and waited outside with a line of about 20 people.

I then had to go through another metal detector where I had to take off my belt and shoes and everything metal on my persons. I then made my way down the hall way to judge Joseph Guillory courtroom where I had to wait until it started at 9 a. m. the bailiff came out to give people direction and I asked if it would be ok to sit in on court today and he said yes I just needed to be quiet and that I could come in when everybody else came in. I then waited and then the bailiff came back out and let everyone in the court room, I then found a seat in the back row and began to watch the workings on the courtroom.

All the defendants for the session are sworn in by the bailiff then as judge Guillory walks out the bailiff orders us to rise and when the judge is seated we all are seated. The bailiff then calls defendant to the stand which I a female by the name of Ashley G. and when asked how she pleads to the charges of DWI she says guilty. The judges then asked her if she didn’t learn her lesson the first time she was caught drinking and driving. She stays quiet for a second then reply’s that it won’t happen again.

Then the judge says “I hope not, because next time you may kill someone or yourself. ” He then gives her a choice of 30 ays in jail or pays $1,000 and do house arrest. Ashley chose house arrest and the fine and the judge hand the paper to his sectary and she hand him the paper for the next case. The next case is an assault case where the defendant an 18 year old male socked another male at a party the judge sentence the defendant to be liable for medical bills resulting in any injuries that he may have cause. As well as 20 hours of community service and anger management classes. when the judge ask the defendant why he socked the other male he responded “I don’t know. ” and the judge stated maybe the anger management classes will help you find out why.

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