Criminal Justice Terminology

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  1. Deposition
    Out-of-court testimony of a winess given under direct examination and recorded by an official reporter.
  2. Dismissal
    A decision by a judicial officer to terminate a case without a determination of guilt or innocence.
  3. Disposition
    Final resolution of a case. Can either be after the subject has appeared in court or disposition of charges never been heard in court.
  4. Diversion
    Interruption of the court process prior to disposition of the case, for the purpose of rehabilitation of the defendant.
  5. Docket Number
    Number assigned a case for the clerk of the court in which the case is to be heard.  Includes the permanent, cumulative record of all proceedings.  If a bench warrant is issued within the proceedings of this docket, it is then also referred to as a "Warrant Number."
  6. Extradition
    Procedure by which custody of a defendant is transferred from one state or country, to another state or country.
  7. Felony
    Crime which may be punished by a death or imprisonment in a Federal or State Prison and/or fines.
  8. Held to Answer
    Act of a lower court's transferring a degendant to the Superior Court ot stand trial on one or more felong charges.
  9. III
    Interstate Identification Index.  An automated system that provides the user the capability to search other states and/or the FBI for criminal history outside the state of California.  Sometimes referred to as *III RAP.
  10. Imposition of Sentence Suspended
    After plea or verdicts of guilty, the judge places the defendant on probation and defers the passing of sentence to a later time.
  11. Infraction
    A violation of a state statute or local ordinance punishable by a fine or other penalty, but not by incarceration.
  12. Jurisdiction
    Area within which a court or law enforcement agency my excercise its lawful powers.
  13. Jury
    A statutory-defined number of persons, selected according to law and sworn to determine certain matters of fact in a criminal action and to render a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
  14. Misdemeanor
    Crime that is usually punishable by incarceration in a local confinement facility for a period typically limited to a year or less and/or fines.
  15. Nolo Contendere
    A defendant's formal answer in cort to charges in which he states that he does not contest the charges and which, while not an admission of guilt, sujects him to the same legal consequences of a plea of guilty. ("No Contest")
  16. Parole
    Conditional release of a convict from State Prison before he has completed his sentence.
  17. PFN
    Person File Number.  Anyone who has been arrested, detained or cited in lieu of arrest in Santa Clara County with have a PFN. In addition, if a Criminal Arrest Warrant has been issued for an individual, they too will have a PFN.
  18. Plea
    Formal answer by the defendant in court to the charges against him.
  19. Plea Bargain
    Process whereby prosecution and defense seek to negotiate a settlement of a criminal case without going to trial.
  20. Prior Booking
    Disposition code used to identify when a subject was booked on a Bench Warrant.
  21. Probation
    Period of time in which subject is either placed under the supervision of a probation officer (*Formal Probation) or the court (*Informal/Summary/Court Probation). Can be a portion of their sentence as an addition to jail time or in lieu of jail time.
  22. Probation Modified
    The original probation conditions are changed or altered.
  23. Probation Reinstated
    Returned to probation status after the probation is revoked for failure to meet the conditions of probation.
  24. Probation Revoked
    Court ordered termination of probatoin status because of violation of the probation conditions.
  25. Probation Terminated
    The ending of the probation status of a person by expiration of the probationary period or as determined by the court.
  26. Probation Transferred
    The transfer of responsibility for a probationer to another jurisdiction.
  27. Recordable Offense
    An offense that is recorded and maintained by DOJ as a part of the criminal history of an individual. (See CII and CII RAP)
  28. Search and Seizure
    Part of the conditions of probation whereby the probationed party is required to submit to the search of his person, and also his vehicle, clothing, residence, etc. byt hte assigned probation officer or a peace officer.  Also, an act whereby one looks for evidence in a given place and brings it before the court.
  29. Sentence
    The formal judgement of a court prescribing the punishment to be imposed on a person whom has been convicted of a cime.
  30. Sentence Modified
    The current sentence is altered or changed.
  31. Sentence Suspended
    After plea or verdict of guilty, judge sentences defendant but defers execution of the sentence to a later date so defendant may be placed on probation.
  32. Suspended Sentence
    A sentence whose imposition or execution has been withheld by the court based on certain terms and conditions.
  33. Subpoena
    A written order issued by a judicial officer requiring a specified person to appear in a designated court at a specified time in order to serve as a witness in a case under jurisdiction of that court, or to bring material to that court.
  34. Trial
    Formal examination of a case by a court of law herein evidence is presented and the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant is decided.
  35. Warrant
    An order by a court directing a peace officer to take some specific action, such as arrest the named person on the specified charges.
  36. Arrest Warrant
    A warrant is issued by the court, based on a complaint signed by the District Attorney. (allows for the taking of a person into custody)
  37. Bench Warrant
    A warrant issued by the court for tailure to obey court orders, such as: FTA - appear in court as required / FTP - pay required fines / FTC - comply with the terms of probation
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Criminal Justice Terminology
2012-12-03 02:26:50

Criminal Justice Terminology
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