The rules that govern what a jury can hear and see during the trial of a case in an American courtroom.
Information that people base decision on. In a legal sense, evidence is the information presented in court during a tiral that enables the judge and jury to decide a particular case.
An object or material that is illegal to possess.
A place, usually in a police station, where evidence is gathered by LEO is deposited and kept safe from tampering pending its use in court.
Chain of Custody
The maintenance of custody and control over an object to such a degree that the custodian can prove the object is in the same condition as it originally was when custody was obtained.
Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE)
The most common codification of evidence law - the rules that apply in all federal courts throughout the United States and in the 42 states that have relied upon them as a model in adopting their own evidence codes.
A formal processing of the arrested person by the police that involves recording the arrest, fingerprinting, photographing, and inventorying all the personal items taken from the suspect.
The right afforded to the adversary in a trial to examine, inspect, and copy the evidence in the hands of the other side.
Three basic functions of the police
Enforce the law
Maintain public order
Provide various public services
The power or authority of the court to act with respect to any case before it.
The neighborhood, place, or county in which an act is declared to have been done or, in fact, happened, thus defining the particular county or geographical area in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine a case.
A form of legal action that seeks to free a prisoner from unlawful confinement.
The level of information required for a police officer to arrest a suspect - enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed and that the suspect was the one who committed the crime.
A court proceeding in which a judge decides whether there is enough evidence that an accused person committed a crime to hold that person for trial.
A panel of persons chosen through strict court procedures to review criminal investigations and, in some instances, to conduct criminal investigations. Grand juries decide whether to charge crimes, in the form of an indictment, in teh cases presented to them or investigated by them.
A formal written accusation issued by a grand jury charging a specified person with the commission of a specified crime, usually a felony.
A formal written accusation submitted to the court by the prosecutor, alleging that a specified person has committed a specified crime. It is used in many jurisdictions instead of an indictment.
Arraignment and Plea
The defendant's appearance in corut after the filing of a formal charge at which the defendant enters a formal plea to the charges, and at which issues about right to counsel and bail are decided by the judge.