rules of evidence chapter 1

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Law of Evidence

the rules that govern what a jury can hear and see during the trial of a case in an American courtroom

Evidence

information that people base decisions on. in a legal sense, evidence is the information presented in court during a trial that enables the judge and jury to decide a particular case.

contraband

an object or material that is illegal to possess.

evidence locker

a place, usually in a police station, where evidence gathered by law enforcement officers is a deposited and kept safe from tampering pending its use in court

Chain of custody

the maintenance of custody and control over an object to such a degree that the custodian can prove the object is in the same condition as it originally was when custody was obtained.

Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE)

The most common codification of evidence law-the rules that apply in all federal courts throughout the united States and in the 42 states that have relied upon them as a model in adopting their own evidence codes.

Booking

A formal processing of the arrested person by the police that involves recording the arrest, fingerprinting, photographing, and inventorying all the personal items taken from the suspect.

Discovery

the right afforded to the adversary in a trial to examine, inspect, and copy the evidence in the hands of the other side.

Jurisdiction

the power or authority of the court to act with respect to any case before it.

Venue

the neighborhood, place, or county in which in act is declared to have been done or, in fact, happened, thus defining the particular county or geographical area in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine a case.

Herbeas corpus

a form of legal action that seeks to free a prisoner from unlawful confinement.

Jails

the facilities used to maintain custody of persons arrested pending prosecution and to maintain custody of those sentenced to short periods of confinement, usually less than one year. Most jails are operated by cities, counties, or both

Prisons

Penal institutions maintained by the state or federal government consisting of state penitentiaries, reformatiories, and juvenile training facilities.

Probation Department

an agency that investigates defendants prior to sentencing, provides a pre-sentence probation report to the court, and supervises persons placed on probation after conviction.

Probation

the most frequent sentence imposed on first-time offenders, whereby the offender is released back into the community and required to obey the rules and conditions set out in writing by the probation officer after approval by the judge.

Paroled

when a person who has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to a term in prison is released, under supervision, into the community, prior to the espiration of the full sentence.

Parole Service

an agency of the state correctional system that is similar to the probation department but supervises those released on parole from the penitentiary.

Probable cause

the level of information required for a police officer to arrrest a suspect-enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed and that the suspect was the one who committed the crime.

criminal complaint

a document that charges the defendant with a specific crime, usually signed by a law enforcement officer or prosecutor.

affidavit

a written statement, sworn under oath, in which the officer states the facts within his or her personal knowledge that support the criminal complaint.

recognizance

a promise to appear in court

bail

a deposit of cash, other property, or a bond guaranteeing that the accused will appear in court.

bond

a written promise to pay the bail sum, posted by a financially responsible person, usually a professional bondsman.

Preliminary Hearing

a court proceeding in which a judge decides whether there is enough evidence that an accused person committed a crime to hold that person for trial.

grand jury

a panel of persons chosen throrugh strict court procedures to review criminal investigations and, in some instances, to conduct criminal investigations. grand juries decide whether to charge crimes, in the form of an indictment, in the cases presented to them or investigated by them.

indictment

a formal written accusation issued by a grand jury charging a specified person with the commission of a specified crime, usually a felony.

information

a formal written accusation submitted to the court by the prosecutor, alleging that a specified a person has committed a specified crime. it is used in many jurisdictions instead of an indictment.

arraignment and plea

the defendant's appearance in court after the filing of a formal charge (either by indictment or information), at which the defendant enters a formal plea to the charges, and at which issues about right to counsel and bail are decided by the judge.

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