Criminal law in the US
The US has tow separate court systems. In general terms STATE COURTS are used when someone has done something against the laws of CONSTITUTION of a particular State. FEDERAL COURTS deal with cases to do with the laws and Constitution of the United States as whole. Federal courts also hear cases where the US Government is one of the sides involved(介入). Cases for crimes which are not serious are likely to be heard in state courts. Serious crimes may be tried in wither state courts of federal courts depending on the situation, for example cases where a crime has taken place in another state are often heard in federal courts.
After a person has been arrested a magistrate(地方官员), or in some cases a GRAND JURY made up of between 16 and 23 citizens, decides whether they should go to trial. If there is enough evidence for a trial the accused goes to court and has to state whether he/she is guilty or not guilty of the crime. If they say they are not guilty they are sent to trial with a judge and jury (of 16 or 20 citizens) in either a State or COUNTY COURT or, in federal cases, a DISTRICT COURT. If the accused is found guilty they may have the fight to appeal to a higher court, as shown below.
The final court of appeal in the US federal system and for some cases in the state courts is the US SUPREME COURT. It is made up of a CHIEF JUSTICE and eight ASSOCIATES. The accused does not have the fight to be heard by the Supremes Court, but the Supreme Court decides which cases it will hear.