Former U.S. Attorney explains Mexican legal system - CBS 5 - KPHO

Former U.S. Attorney explains Mexican legal system

Posted: Updated:
Jail in Nogales (Source: CBS 5 News) Jail in Nogales (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Mexican legal system is much different from what we're used to in the United States, so CBS 5 News wanted to break down everything you need to know about how things are done south of the border.

"There are many components of Mexican law, especially Mexican criminal law, that would surprise Americans," said former United States Attorney Paul Charlton.

Charlton is familiar with how the law works south of the border from his work with the Department of Justice.

"Whenever we travel abroad, whenever Americans are in other countries, it's something to be very much aware of," he said.

He said if you're charged with a crime in Mexico, you're presumed guilty, not innocent as you would be in the United States. If you are brought to trial, you'll notice the courtroom looks a little different.

"There's no jury system. There's nothing that stands between the government, the charges that are being brought against individuals and a guilty verdict," Charlton said.

Charlton said it's also typical for the judge not to allow defendants to bring witnesses to defend themselves.

"You can find someone guilty in Mexico simply through documents and affidavits that are submitted to the judge for the judge's review," he said.

Charlton said that's assuming your trial is fair.

"There is a significant corruption problem in Mexico," he said.

Charlton pointed out there are plenty of officials on the up and up, but unfortunately many who are playing dirty which makes it hard to know whom to trust when traveling abroad.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Former U.S. Attorney explains Mexican legal systemMore>>

  • SIDEBAR: Jailed in Mexico

    RELATED

    Wednesday, April 30 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-04-30 18:21:19 GMT
    READ: Planted package undetected on jailed mom's path to Mexico (5/29/2013) READ: 15 years ago, a similar story of being jailed in Mexico (5/29/2013) READ: Former U.S. attorney explains Mexican legalMore >
    READ: Planted package undetected on jailed mom's path to Mexico (5/29/2013) READ: 15 years ago, a similar story of being jailed in Mexico (5/29/2013) READ: Former U.S. attorney explains Mexican legalMore >
Powered by WorldNow
CBS 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation), Phoenix, AZ and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service..