In some states, a person commits the offense of unlawful possession of a weapon where prohibited if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses a firearm, an illegal knife, a club, or a prohibited weapon on or within a certain number of feet from certain premises. Such premises include schools or educational institutions, polling places on the day of an election, courthouses, racetracks, secured areas of airports, or correctional institutions.


A defendant has a right to appeal his or her final judgment of conviction and sentence by a trial court to a state’s appellate court. In order to be considered a defendant for purposes of an appeal, the defendant must have been charged with a crime or the defendant must have committed a criminal offense.


A continuance is an adjournment or a postponement of a case. A continuance may be sought by either the prosecution or the defense in a criminal case. The continuance may be sought before a trial or during the trial.


United States Attorneys’ offices have federal strike forces. Such strike forces are called Organized Crime Strike Force Units (OCSFUS). The OCSFUS are responsible for supervising and prosecuting cases against criminal enterprises that operate in or that affect the United States. The Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council identifies those criminal enterprises. The terms “organized crime” refer to criminal groups that engage in repeated illegal activities over an extended period of time within the United States.

Juvenile Proceedings

Juvenile proceedings are different from regular criminal proceedings because they are tailored toward juveniles, children under the age of 18. Every state has a different type of system set up to handle their juvenile matters. Some states have an actual juvenile court, other states place juvenile matters under the guise of the family or probate court. However, most courts that have jurisdiction to hear juvenile matters may transfer the case to a trial court when the offense charged is severe. The process of transferring a juvenile case is often referred to as waiving jurisdiction.