Many people think they know what a jurisdiction in but in fact there are a number of jurisdiction types. Keep reading to learn about five of the main types of jurisdiction. Then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to request a free legal consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
- Subject-Matter Jurisdiction
- Territorial Jurisdiction
- Personal Jurisdiction
- General and Limited Jurisdiction
- Exclusive / Concurrent Jurisdiction
Subject-matter jurisdiction involves the legal right to hear and decide various types of cases. For example, a judge wouldn’t hear a criminal case in a civil court. Only a judge in an appellate court would hear an appeal. There are statutes and constitutional provisions that determine subject-matter jurisdiction.
This is the type of jurisdiction that many people think of when the think of jurisdiction. It involves the geographic boundaries a court can act over. For example, if a crime happens outside of the city of Los Angeles, then a municipal court would not have jurisdiction. Another example is the fact that the state of California does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed in other states.
This involves whether or not a court has jurisdiction over a specific defendant. For example, if a juvenile is arrested of a crime they will likely be under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Another example is an active duty military member, who may be under the jurisdiction of a military court.
A court that has limited jurisdiction can only handle certain cases. A court with general jurisdiction can hear almost any case. It is most commonly the case that a court of limited jurisdiction can handle only misdemeanors and other minor crimes. On the other hand, a court that handles felonies will be a court of general jurisdiction. This means that if a person is charged with both felony and misdemeanor counts, the felony court can hear both cases – but not vice versa.
In some cases, there is only one court that can hear and decide a case. This is known as an exclusive jurisdiction. Some cases could be heard in one of several different courts. This is known as concurrent jurisdiction. It is up to the prosecutor to decide under which jurisdiction to try a case, though the defense can file an appeal to move jurisdiction.
How Can Jurisdiction Affect Your Case?
This depends on the specifics of your case. In most instances, your criminal defense attorney does not need to do anything regarding jurisdiction. In other instances, we must fight to get you into the court that will most likely lead to the best outcome. You can count on Chambers Law Firm to consider all options and communicate them to you. Contact us now at 714-760-4088 to get started.