How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

51 terms

criminal justice

key terms
STUDY
PLAY
allegation
something that someone says happened
bail
security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
case law
the law as laid down in cases that have been decided in the decisions of the courts.
clerk of court
an officer appointed by the court to work with cheif judge in overseeing the court's adminisration, especially to assist in managing the flow of casses through the court and to maintain court records.
conviction
a judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant
cross examine
questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
deposition
an oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
felony
a crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
hearsay
statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else.hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court.
issue
the disputed point in a disagreement between parties in a lawsuit. to send out officialy, as in to issue an order.
juror
a person who is on the jury.
law clerk
assist judges with research and drafting of opinions.
mistrial
an invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. when a mistrial is declared the trial must start againfrom the selection of the jury,
opinion
a judges written explanation of a decision of the court or of a majority of judges.
plaintiff
the person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
procedure
the rules for the conduct of a lawsuit; there are rules of civil, criminal, evidence, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure.
probation officers
screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision.
record
a written document of all the acts and proceeding in a lawsuit.
sentence
the punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.
service of process
the service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party
statement
a description that a witness gives to the police and that the police write down.
subpoena duces tecum
a command to a witness to produce documents.
tort
a civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law.
u.s. attorney
a lawyer appointed by the president in each judicial district to prosecute and defend cases for the federal governemnt.
victim advocate
work with prosecuters and assist the victims of a crime.
writ
a formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the preformance a specific act.
affirmed
in the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
arraignment
a proceeding in which an individual who is accused of commiting a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
capital offense
a crime punishable by death.
circumstantial evidence
all evdence except eye witness testimony
continuance
put off trial untill another time
court reporter
a person who makes a word for word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
defense table
the table where the defense lawyer sits with the defendant in the courtroom
evidence
information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
habeas corpus
a writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment,it may be also used to bring a person into custody before the court to give a testimony or to be prosecuted.
interview
a meeting with the police or prosecuter.
jurisdiction
the legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. the area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
lawsuit
a legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to preform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
misdemeanor
usually a petty offense, a less seirous crime than a feloney, punishable by less then a year of confinement.
objection
a reason that an attorney interrupts the witness to talk to the judge.
petite jury(trial jury)
a group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. federal civil juries consist of 6 persons.
precedent
a court decision in a earlier case similar to a dispute currently before the court.
probation
a sentencing alternitive to imprisonment in which the court realeases convicted defendanta under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
public defender(defense attorney)
representa defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
sentence
the punishment ordered by the court for the defendant convicted of a crime.
sidebar
a conference between the judge and lawyers held out of earshot of the jury and spectators.
subpoena
a command to a witness to appear and give a testimony.
testimony
evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
uphold
the decision of an appelate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
verdict
the decision of a petite jury or judge.
witness
a person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.