Case Study: Judge Frank Caprio

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Criminal justice is a situation where a set of social and legal institutions are enforced in the criminal legal rules by the defined set of procedural regulations and limitations. In America, there are separate state, federal and military criminal justice systems which have different policies for both juveniles and adults (McKee, n.d).  After watching the video about Judge Frank Caprio, a homeless person was arrested for being alleged of disturbing people at the eating place and yet he was not consuming anything. Upon being taken to court, the victim is first reminded of why he was arrested and then given a chance to plead whether he was guilty or not.

The judge also told the victim that he had constitutional rights that can allow him to walk out of court free. By pleading guilty, the judge assured the man that he may be fined, jailed for 30 days or receive both. However, the man said that he was not guilty because he believes in the bible and that the words from the text rule America and the world. After a small conversation, the judge asked again, whether he will plead guilty or not and he said he was not guilty. The judge, therefore, finished the case by telling him that he must return for the second hearing. However, he was cautioned that if he misbehaved or fail to appear in court, a warrant of arrest will be issued for him to be arrested.

Based on the rules in the criminal justice, one common aspect used in courts is the abundance of regulations the judge offers a victim. While the law may be hierarchical, it is vital that they are followed in court. Regarding this video, the victim is given a set of rules to make them familiar (Ambos & Heinze, 2018). In a standard case in court, the exclusionary rule applies during criminal proceedings before the courts plead that the criminal is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The defendant is also given the opportunity to provide evidence, and the court must review the material before beginning the trial.

Moreover, the victim is also told about their constitutional rights based on the crime they committed. Criminal defendants in this case also have several constitutional rights. The essential form of protection that they can be offered is where the prosecution can be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But in general, the defendant has the right to, jury trial, confront witnesses right to be represented by the attorney, remain silent and the power of not to be tried twice.

Like any other attorney, Judge Frank had the right to adhere to the ethical standards of professional conduct which exist in every state. Each country also contains a disciplinary system that can punish lawyers in case they violate ethical standards. Apart from the reversal of convictions, some prosecutorial misconduct acts can also constitute ethical violations, and as a result, the attorney may be put to disciplinary action (Ambos & Heinze, 2018). Sometimes, the lawyer can even lose their license permanently whenever they violate the disciplinary system. In our case study, Judge Frank never broke any rule because he gave the victim a chance to speak, to question and also allow him to determine whether he is guilty or not. Even though the police officer had stated the reasons for arresting the person, the judge has no right to detain the person because of lack of evidence.

In a typical court case ruling, the basis of a determination of any legal action is that the judgment of any decision should be made upon the rights and liabilities of the party in any legal proceeding or action (Shwerha, 2013). Usually, the magistrate can offer a preliminary hearing to understand whether there is another severe charge that needs the attention of the higher court. In our case study, for instance, Judge Frank had asked the victim for another hearing after he was told the consequences of what he pleaded.  He was, however, cautioned that if he failed to appear to he will be arrested any further explanation.

Clip 2.

The second clip shows how an officer stops a driver because of the speed and careless driving. When the driver stopped, the officer greets the driver, asks him if they had any idea why he has been arrested and later gives him the reason. The officers also question whether he has a driver’s license so that he could verify whether he is an authenticated driver. When going back to clarify, the driver is asked to put his hand on the steering until the officer returned. When he came back, the officer also asked if he is carrying anything illegal in the car and the driver denies. But since the officer already had a scent of it, he asked the driver to step out of the car. While the driver was doing that the officer was keeping a distance in case there was an attack. The officer then asked the driver to turn around, open his legs and look in front because he wanted to handcuff him. Even when putting handcuffs, the driver is informed why the process is taking place. The officer wanted to get a chance to go back to the car and search it, and to his surprise, he explained to the driver that he would be arrested for an illegal substance in his car.

Usually, when the police want to arrest an individual, it means the fundamental right of freedom is taken away. Consequently, several procedures should be adhered before making any legal arrest to protect the rights of the citizens (Pop, 2012). It should be noted that many police departments and states have procedures that help the officer’s document arrest and also assist them not to make legal mistakes that can destroy the prosecution case in any criminal trial. With such, the procedures of arrest vary from one police department to another. Nevertheless, there are limited numbers of situation that may make an officer arrest someone:

When they observe a crime

When the officer believes that the arrested person committed a crime

When there is a warrant of arrest issued by the judge

Unless through the three circumstances the officer has no right to detain someone even if they feel they have a vague hunch that the individual might be a criminal. A legal arrest is made through several procedures. The rule of detention is that it must vary with the jurisdiction. In the video, the officer never used force because the victim was not violent. The law also requires the officer to tell the arrestee the reasons why he is being arrested, but this also depends on the circumstances of arrest as well s the jurisdiction (Pop, 2012). In the case study, the police had to inform the driver the reason for stopping him and why he is being arrested. The conduct done by the officer was ethical because he followed all the rules as required by the law.

The basis of the determination or the probable cause is usually another process that should embrace by the police. To establish the foundation of the decision, the police must have valid reasons to show the primary objective that made him believe that he suspects that there is a committed a crime. The officer cannot establish the basis of the determination by stating that they had the hunch that the individual is a criminal (Shwerha, 2013). However, they must be sincere and have the facts that they have enough reasons for the arrests. But then upon being taken to court and the judge disagrees with the evidence given, then the cause of arrest is not accepted. In the video case, the officer had suspicions that the driver might be under the influence of any substance because of how he was driving. When the car stopped and the police when near, the officer had a smell of marijuana.

His instincts were very right to the point that when he asked the arrestee to step outside, he found a packet of marijuana on the passenger's seat. He took it, asked the driver why he was in possession of the illegal substances, and when the driver claimed that he does not know, the officer then added that he would arrest him because he had marijuana and the law does not allow. A good example that can be used to support the claim of arrest is the case between Maryland v. Pringle (Mcinnis, n.d). The story behind was that officer Seesit pulled over a car with three people because of overspeeding. When the police searched the vehicle with the consent of the driver, he found a bag of cocaine behind the driver’s seat. All the occupants denied having any knowledge pertaining the cocaine. Seesit, in this case, had the basis of the determination of arresting the three individuals because the evidence of the cocaine was enough to prove that they were aware of its possession.


The law as elaborated in the essay needs evidence and procedures before arresting or putting someone in jail. From youtube videos we saw where the two arrestees had broken the law, the person in charge of determining their fate had protocols to follow. For instance, in the first video, we see a homeless man taken to court after being arrested in a public place after disturbing other customers in a restaurant. In court, Judge Frank told him the reasons why he is taken to court, his fundamental rights and the consequences that would take place based on how he would plead. Since the victim alleged that he was not guilty, the judge added that he would be given a date which he should return to court for a second hearing. If he failed to come, a warrant of arrest would be issued for breaking the law. The latter case was about a police officer arresting a driver who was driving carelessly. As required by the law, it is a must for the officer to explain to the person the reasons of arrest just the way officer Seesist did in the Maryland v. Pringle case.


Ambos, K., & Heinze, A. (2018). International Criminal Law and International Criminal Justice. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.412

Mcinnis, T. (n.d.). Maryland v. Pringle (2003). Encyclopedia of the Fourth Amendment. doi:10.4135/9781452234243.n491

Mckee, A. J. (n.d.). Criminal Justice | Section 1.2: Roles, Objectives, and Limits in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from

Judge Frank Caprio Angry. (2017, October 29). Retrieved November 25, 2018, from

Pop, M. (2013). The Newly Murky World of Searches Incident to Lawful Arrest: Why the Gant Restrictions Should Apply to All Searches Incident to Arrest. Kansas Law Review. doi:10.17161/1808.20228

Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest. (2014, April 15). Retrieved November 25, 2018, from

Schwerha, J. J. (2013). Probable Cause. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 1-4. doi:10.1002/9781118517383.wbeccj356

December 12, 2023

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