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A numerus amount of cases is brought upon courtrooms every day and scheduled for the same time in different court rooms. DUI’s remain a big issue and concern to the public health and the safety of other as well as those under the influence. As I was asking the officers there outside the courtrooms, I asked on a serious note what was the vast majority of cases they get on a daily basis and he told me that its DUI’s and DWI’s. Being assigned this assignment got me to think how everything was going to take place at a court room. I never even knew where the Hidalgo courthouse was at nor how it looked inside and how to even get inside. As I was walking from the parking lot and crossing the street I came across a security that was sitting down in a chair and I was looking at the billboard that is posted up there outside and he didn’t bother to ask me if I was looking for something specifically or if I needed help. I decided to continue walking and then I was stopped by a tall man in a suit to appeared to be a lawyer and he asked me if I was lost and if I needed assistance and then he directed me to the main entrance and told me what court room to go to. As I was walking along the pathway that is under instruction at the moment, I saw many people dressed super fancy like in dresses and nice suits and I thought to myself they must work here or be attorneys. I finally made it to the front sliding door and was quickly stopped by the guards that are there which made me feel safe because they don’t let anyone in without asking where r they are going or without directing them to the metal detectors. I was asked to put all my belongings in a bucket and asked to walk through and then was told to stand in a tee formation so they can pass the small metal detector through my body. I was told since it was a Friday there was only court in the outside area which I had no idea where it was but, was escorted by one of the officers that was on his way over there. As I was walking up the staris that are outside I noticed that there was a lot of people waiting outside some sitting on the benches that are provided there for us and others just standing around.
As I was standing around as well as all the other people around me the officer that escorted me to that place also asked me to enter the courtroom, he was going into so I can see what was happing there at the time. It was Friday early in the morning October 4, 2019 and I was still a bit nervous because I was not really prepared to hear and see things in a court room due to this being the very first time actually in a courtroom. I asked the officer who was the judge and what courtroom it was because I didn’t catch a glimpse at the door before coming in. He informed me that it was courtroom number eight and I was going to be hearing and seeing judge Omar Maldonado. Judge Maldonado to me seemed to be Mexican just like me and seemed super lenient and well organized. As I was following the officer he assigned me to sit to the right side and I expected there to be benches but in fact they were regular chairs and as I was looking around the room I noticed that aside from me and 4 other teenagers everyone else where adults. This courtroom that I was observing was decorated with Halloween decorations and as they would open the door to the small office that was located to the right of me it also had Halloween decorations and it looked so pretty. Judge called upon four men which I didn’t quite get their names because I had entered right when they were already walking up to the front of the tables where they sit with their attorneys. As I was waiting for the judge to tell them something I was still taking a peek at everything around and as I was doing so I noticed that there was a lot of printed out signs that stated for us not to use our phones, not to eat and drink, and for us not to talk while court was being held. As the judge was talking to the defendents it was quiet but then the attorneys that were waiting to be next were just talking to each other.
To me that was very rude because even after there a several signs posted up no to talk while court is being held they still do so and if anything they should be the ones in enforce the rules so the people can learn from them as well as already having the knowledge that you shouldn’t be disrespectful at a court hearing. There were four defendants that were standing in front of a judge and the judge them sked them for to raise their right hand. Out of those four men only one of them was wearing the orange suit that they provide for you in prison and he was chained up as well. He also had a translator but which I didn’t not understand why because he would answer the judge in English and sometimes in Spanish, but the translator would translate everything the judge was telling him to Spanish which I found it very confusing. As the judge called out that everything they say must be the truth and nothing but the truth they all answered at the same time yes sir. After that Judge Maldonado then asked each individual if they were United States Citizens and the one man who was already in prison said he was not and judge then stated that depending on the felon’s felony it can lead him to get deported and not be able to come back to the United States.
The defendant understood what the judge told him and did not argue what could happen to him. The four men that were standing there were being charged with a DWI and only one of the guys that was standing there was issued an ankle monitor which I was a bit confused as to why only him and was told that no later than the following Wednesday it had to be on him already. That case was then dismissed and another case was brought to hearing and it consisted of the three teens who I thought where there to observe just like I was but it turned out that they were being charged with possession of marijuana in a class b misdemeanor and were also asked to raise there right hand and swear to only tell the truth and nothing but the truth during their hearings. The three teens where sentenced to be held for three months then to be set on juvenile probation. Judge Maldonado went through the cases extremely fast and he did not speak loud enough for us sitting on the chairs to hear everything being said. Maybe I was the only one that couldn’t hear but there was just so much commotion happing at the same time as Judge Maldonado was talking.
As I was there sitting down observing everything that was taking place at that time I kept thinking to myself that what I was experiencing right at the moment is that what I thought would be going on, I always assumed that court rooms where as big as they looked on the television but I was indeed very wrong. These court rooms were smaller than what I would have expected but even though it was not what I expected it was still a good experience and I was indeed satisfied with what I learned while attending court. Judge Maldonado seemed very organized, but a bit rushed in getting through the cases fast. I personally didn’t not like the fact. The people that worked there or that were assigned to be in that courtroom kept coming in and out while judge Maldonado was talking to the defendants. I just found it very rude of them but then again, every judge is different just like our professor mentioned. I was surprised at how fast he was getting through the cases and that the teens that I thought were there also observing came out to be offenders as well as the four gentlemen that were there. I was not bored nor was I shocked about anything but ore like annoyed of all the commotion that was happening. According to the attorneys and the judge there was enough evidence to both cases that I saw for the defendants to be considered guilty of the crimes and acts they committed.
Not all we read and hear about courts are the way it is prone to happen at the actual court hearings or at the trials of criminal cases, but I can say that what out professor has mentioned to us about courts and of what I have read I can say even though it is not as we picture it all comes back and leads to the same direction just in many different ways. I thought I was prepared to see what happens at an actual court hearing but in reality I believe I was prepared but not so much, just because I expected it to be different and I mean different like how we see it happen on television and social media. However, other than that it is the same because there is a Judge present, the offenders, and all the people that are there to help at that specific court room. There was in fact points made in class pointed out in the court room and they were that not all courts we attended will be the same but they will all consists of about the same things which include calling the defendants up and issuing them if they are guilty or not and sentencing to prison if needed or if not.
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