Those whose proceedings are permanently recorded, and which have the power to fine or imprison for contempt. Courts not of record are those of lesser authority whose proceedings are not permanently recorded.
Separate sentences (each additional to the other) imposed against a person convicted upon an indictment containing several counts, each charging a different offense. (Same as an accumulative sentence).
A formal objection to an action of the court, during the trial of a case, in refusing a request or overruling an objection; implying that the party excepting does not acquiesce in the decision of the court and will seek to reverse it.
A term derived from the Roman law, meaning a person holding the character of a trustee, in respect to the trust and confidence involved in it, and the scrupulous good faith and candor which it requires.
“you have the body”. The name given to a variety of writs whose objective is to bring a person before a court or judge. In most common usage, it is directed to the official or person detaining another, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner or person detained so the court may determine if such person has been denied his liberty without due process of law.
A jury of inquiry who receives complaints and accusations in criminal cases, hears the evidence, and finds bills of indictment in cases where they are satisfied that there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that a trial ought to be held.
This phrase, endorsed by a grand jury on the indictment, is equivalent to “not found” or “not a true bill”. In the opinion of the jury, evidence was insufficient to warrant the return of a formal charge.
Evidence of what the witness thinks, believes, or infers in regard to facts in dispute, as distinguished from his personal knowledge of the facts; not admissible except (with certain limitations) in the case of experts.
A list of jurors to serve in a particular court or for the trial of a particular action; denotes either the whole body of persons summoned as jurors for a particular term of court or those selected by the clerk by lot.
Synonymous with “preliminary examination”, the hearing given to a person charged with a crime by a magistrate or judge to determine whether she should be held for trial. Since the Constitution states that a person cannot be accused in secret, a preliminary hearing is open to the public unless the defendant requests that it be closed. The accused person must be present at this hearing and must be accompanied by her attorney.
An inference as to the trust or falsity of any proposition of fact, drawn by a process of reasoning in the absence of actual certainty of its truth or falsity, or until such certainty can be ascertained.
In modern criminal administration, allowing a person convicted of some minor offense (particularly juvenile offenders) to go at large, under a suspended sentence, during good behavior, and generally under the supervision or guardianship of a probation officer.
One who initiates the prosecution upon which an accused is arrested or one who brings an accusation against the party whom he suspects to be guilty; also, one who takes charge of a case and performs the functions of a trial lawyer for the state.
Research about a defendant who is found guilty. Compiled by a probation officer, this research might include aggravating or mitigating circumstances, criminal record, background, and community status of the defendant.
An accused person is entitled to acquittal if in the minds of the jury her guilt has not been proved beyond a “reasonable doubt”: the state of the jurors’ minds in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.
An order made by a court having competent jurisdiction. Rules of court are either general or specific: the former are the regulations by which the practice of the court is governed; the latter are special orders made in particular cases.
An order in writing, issued by a justice or magistrate, in the name of the state, directing an officer to search a specific house or other premises for stolen property. Usually required as a condition precedent to a legal search and seizure.
The protection of one’s person or property against some injury attempted by another. The law of “self-defense” justifies an act done in the reasonable belief of immediate danger. When acting in justifiable self-defense, a person may not be punished criminally, nor held responsible for civil damages.