40 terms

PBH 305: Court Procedures Vocabulary

First 20 vocabulary words for test on Monday, October 27, 2014.
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Accused
Formally charged but not yet tried for committing a crime; the person who has been charged may also be called the defendant.
Acquittal
A judgment of court, based on the decision of either a jury or a judge, that a person accused is not guilty of the crime for which he has been tried.
ADA
Assistant district attorney. An assistant district attorney works for the elected District Attorney. An ADA will review and prosecute cases as assigned. ADA's meet with law enforcement, witnesses, and victims. They generally have authority to dispose of those cases assigned to them.
Adjournment
Putting off or postponing business or a session of court until another time or place.
Adjudication
The Judicial decision that ends a criminal proceeding by a judgment of acquittal, conviction, or dismissal of the case.
Affidavit
A written statement that the writer swears is true.
Aggravating Factors
Factors that make a crime worse than most similar crimes. Aggravating factors are often defined by law and include such things as victim very old, gang related, done for hire, especially cruel, defendant does not support this family, or took advantage of a position of trust.
Aggravated Range
When a person is sentenced, this indicates a sentence that is more severe than the "presumed" sentence for a given crime. A defendant may receive more time if the judge finds aggravating factors. If no aggravating factors are found, the sentence will come from either the "presumptive" or "mitigated" range.
Alleged
Said to be true, but not yet proven to be true; until the trial is over, the crime may be called the "alleged crime."
Appeal
A request by either the defense or the prosecution that a higher court review the results of a decision on certain motions or in a completed trial. This can be an appeal from superior court to an appeals court, or an appeal from district court to superior court for a trial.
Arraignment
To bring a prisoner before a judge to ask how he pleads to the charges against him.
Arrest Warrant
A written order issued by the District court or magistrate including a statement of the crime of which the person to be arrested is accused, and directing that the person be arrested and held to answer the accusation before a magistrate or other judge.
Assailant
Person identified as the attacker.
Bail
An amount of money set by the court that allows a person charged with a crime to be released from custody. The purpose of bail is to insure that the offender will return to court.
Bailiff
A uniformed officer who keeps order in the courtroom.
Bench
How the judge is sometimes referred to as in "the bench," also where the judge sits during proceedings.
Bench Warrant
An order issued by a judge to bring to court an accused person who has been released before trial and does not return to court when ordered to do so, or a witness who has failed to appear when ordered to do so.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The degree of proof needed for a jury or judge to convict an accused person of a crime.
Bond
In criminal court, a term meaning the same thing as "bail," generally a certificate or evidence of a debt.
Bond Forfeiture
A hearing to determine if the bond on a defendant is to be forfeited after a defendant fails to show for court. Forfeited bond money goes to the public schools.
Bondsman
A licensed person or person working for a licensed company, who will post bond for a defendant upon payment of a fee. The fee is generally fifteen percent (15%) of the bond.
Booking
An official police record of the arrest of a person accused of committing a crime which identifies the accused, the time and place of arrest, the arresting authority, and the reason for the arrest.
Calendar
A document listing cases for hearing before a court. Calendars may be for district court, superior court, motions, forfeitures, criminal docket management, plea, or trials.
Capital Case
This is a first-degree murder case in which the jury can impose either a life sentence or the death penalty. If a person is guilty of first-degree murder and there are any statutory aggravating factors then the State has to seek the death penalty.
Charge
The formal accusation filed by the prosecutor's office that a specific person has committed a specific crime, the filing may be called "pressing charges."
Clerk of Court
An officer of a court of justice who has charge of the clerical part of its business -- who keeps its records and seal, issues process, enters judgments and orders, gives certified copies from the records, et cetera.
Commitment
The warrant or order by which a court or magistrate directs an officer to take a person to prison.
Complaint
A term in civil cases that signifies a filing of a suit. In criminal court, the complaint is the reporting of a crime to authorities.
Concurrent Sentence
Running together, when two or more sentences are served at the same time. Opposite of consecutive sentence.
Consecutive Sentence
Successive; succeeding one another in regular order; one sentence beginning at the completion of another.
Continuance
Postponement of a court hearing; putting it off until another day.
Criminal Court
A court that hears cases concerned with the alleged violation of criminal law.
Criminal Justice System
The government agencies charged with law enforcement, prosecution of alleged violations of the criminal law, the court hearing of charges against the accused, and the punishment and supervision of those convicted.
Criminal Law
The law whose violation is considered an offense against the state and is punishable upon conviction by imprisonment and other penalties for adult offenders and by action of a juvenile court for juvenile offenders.
Cross-Examination
The examination of a witness by the party opposed to the one who produced him during a trial or hearing, or upon taking a deposition.
DA
Commonly refers to an attorney for the community elected by the people in his district to represent the interests of the general public, including crime victims, in court proceedings against people accused of committing crimes. Other jurisdictions use other terms: Prosecutor, such as U.S. Attorney (a federal prosecutor), solicitor, or state's attorney.
Defendant
A person who has been formally charged with committing a crime; the person accused of a crime.
Defense Attorney
The lawyer who represents the defendant in legal proceedings. Victims are usually not required to speak with defense attorneys except in court, but may do so if they choose.
Deferred Sentence
Defendant enters a guilty plea, receives probation for a certain amount of time, and gives up the right to trial. The DA dismisses the case if the probation is completed successfully.
Direct Examination
The first interrogation or examination of a witness during trial by the party on whose behalf he is called.