In their details, rules of appropriate procedure in criminal cases are long and complex. The rules are encapsulated in the U.S. and Texas constitutions, elaborated in statutes, and perpetually altered, updated, corrected, and adapted in decisions of the courts. The table below outlines the main purposes and key elements of criminal procedure in Texas today. If government is to be both limited and just, its capacities to deal with members of society alleged to have violated the law must be clearly defined and adequately counterbalanced by the rights of the accused. The purposes of criminal procedure are summarized below and elaborated in the following two tabs. (1) Assure society of swift and fair justice for wrong-doers: (a) Prevent crime and preclude escape; (b) Mete out the legal consequences of crime. (2) Safe-guard your rights when you are accused of a crime: (a) Fairly marshal all available evidence; (b) Insure a speedy, fair, and impartial trial.