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the examintation of physical evidence


anything that tends to establish or disprove something


the science that deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of prejectiles, most often firearms and bullets


examination of bite marks and dental identification of corpses


investigation of sudden, unexplained, or violent death


the study of insects


the study of pollen and spores


the use of the lie detector

statutory law

legislative acts declarin, commanding, or prohibiting something

case law or common law

the body of law made up of judicial opinions and precendents

stare decisis

to stand by the decision, meaning previous legal decisions are to be followed

civil law

deals with noncriminal suits brought to pretect or preserve a civil or private right or matter

criminal law

regulation and enforvement of rights setting the acceptable limits of conduct in society


a minor crime, less than a felony, usually punished with a fine or confinement other than in a prison


a serious crime, such as murder, punishable by more than one year of imprisonment up to execution

probable cause

situation in which a reasonable and prudent person, viewing the available information, would conclude that a crime has been committed and that the suspect committed it

miranda rights

rights guaranteed by the constitution that police must tell arrestees about, especially the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney


a police procedure following arrest that requests basic information about the suspect a photograph, finger prints and perhaps a line up.


the first act in a criminal proceding where the defendant is brought before the court to hear charges and enter a plea

nolo contendere

in a criminal law suit a defendant neither admits nor denies a crime but accepts punishment as though he or she were guilty

prelimenary or evidentiary hearing

a hearing before a judge to determine whether a person charged with a crime should be held with trial, also sometimes called a prelimenary examination


money put up to guarentee that the defendant will appear in court as directed a bonds man will pay the bail for a fee of 10 % of the bail ammount if the defendant doesn't appear when the time comes the bonds man may hire bounty hunters to find and return the suspect.

grand jury

a group of people sworn to inquire into crime and if appropriate bring accusations against the suspected criminals


to formaly accuse a person of a crime

plea bargaining

an agreement in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor drops more serious chargers to avoid the cost and time of the trial.


a breach of a right, duty, or law


violation of a rule or law that is not punishable by prison


in evidence law, tending to prove something


in evidence law, relivent and significant, a material witness has information about the subject.


testimony given by a witness who relates not what she or he heard, saw, or knew personally, but what others have said. the knowledge is dependent on the credibility of the other person.and therefore is not admissible in court unless it meets a hearsay exception

expert witness

a person who is a specialist in a subject often technical who may present his or her expert opinion without actually witnessing any occurence relating to the case this is an exception to the rule against giving an opinion in trial provided that the expert is qualified by his or her expertise, training, and special knowledge.

frye standard

commonly called the general acceptence test, this dictates the scientific evidence is admissible at trial only if the methodology or scientific principle on which the opinion is based is sufficiently established to have the general acceptence in the particular field in which it belongs

daubert ruling

updated revision of the frye standard for admissilbility of expert scientific evidence that emplisitly endures a classical definition of the scientific method including hypothesis testing estimates of error rates peer review of publication and general acceptance

junk science

theories based on distorted flawed or untested hypothesis not derived from or tested by the scientific method

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