The stage of the criminal process in which the defendant is formally told the charges and allowed to enter a plea.
The act of depriving a person of his or her liberty, most frequently accomplished by physically taking the arrestee into police custody for a suspected violation of criminal law.
A document issued by a judicial officer authorizing the arrest of a specific person.
The security (money or bail bond) given as a guarantee that a released prisoner will appear at trial.
A person whose business it is to effect release on bail for persons held in custody by pledging to pay a sum of money if a defendant fails to appear in court as required.
A bond for the amount of bail set by a court that is posted by a bail agent to secure the pre-trial release of a defendant in exchange for a fee the defendant pays.
Bench Warrant (capias)
An order issued by the court itself, from the bench, for the arrest of a person;it is not based, as is an arrest warrant, on a probable cause showing that a person has committed a crime, but only on the person's failure to appear in court as directed.
If at a preliminary hearing the judge believes that sufficient probable cause exists to hold a criminal defendant, the accused is said to be bound over for trial.
Requirement that money be posted to secure pre-trial release.
An information, indictment, or complaint that states the formal criminal charge against a named defendant.
In civil law, the first paper filed in a lawsuit. In criminal law, a charge signed by the victim that a person named as committed a specified offense.
The failure or refusal to obey a court order; may be punished by a fine or imprisonment.
A group of citizens who decide whether persons accused of crimes should be indicted (true bill) or not (no True Bill).
A UCR rule that records only the most serious crime to occur during an event in which two or more crimes were committed, rather than recording each crime.
A grant of exemption from prosecution in return of evidence or testimony.
The specific crimes used by the FBI when reporting the incidence of crime in the United States in the Uniformed Crime Reports; also called "Type I offenses"
A formal accusation of a criminal offense made against a person by a grand jury.
A formal accusation charging someone with the commission of a crime, signed by a prosecuting attorney, which has the effect of bringing the person to trial.
An accused's first appearance before a judge or magistrate following arrest; during the appearance, the defendant is informed of the charges, advised of the right to counsel, told the amount of bail, and given a date for the preliminary hearing. Judge also determines if there is probably cause for the arrest.
National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
An incident-based, rather than summary based, system for tracking criminal offenses with significantly more detail than the UCR.
The ending of a criminal case because the prosecutor decides or agrees to stop prosecuting. When this happens, the case is "nollied," "Nolled," or "nol. processed"
No True Bill
The decision of a grand jury not to indict a person for a crime.
A pre-trial hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to bind a defendant over for a felony trial.
Holding a defendant in custody pending trial in the belief that he or she is likely to commit further criminal acts or flee the jurisdiction.
Standard use to determine whether a crime has been committed and whether there is sufficient evidence to believe a specific individual committed it.
Use of property as collateral for pre-trial release.
Release on Recognizance
The release of an accused person from jail on his or her own obligation rather than on a monetary bond.
An order from a court directing a person to appear before the court and to give testimony about a cause of action pending before it.
Absolute protection against prosecution for any event or transaction about which a witness is compelled to give testimony or furnish evidence.
A bill of indictment by a grand jury.
Type I offense
Serious crimes of homicide, rape, arson, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, auto theft, and larceny, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports; also called "index crimes"
Uniformed Crime Report
UCR; a report compiled by the FBI made up of crime reports voluntarily sent in by various police jurisdictions; two major indexes, eight index crimes, clearance rate
A witness may not be prosecuted based on grand jury testimony he or she provides but may be prosecuted based on evidence aquired independently of that testimony.