Term Definition
Bind Over A case is moved from one court to another for trial or disposition.
Bond A monetary amount or property that represents money and security to the court that the defendant will appear at all scheduled court proceedings.
Complaint A written document presented to the court stating the charges against the defendant and every important aspect surrounding the crime.
Counsel A lawyer or group of lawyers.
Defendant A person accused of a criminal act or civil injustice.
Defense Attorney A lawyer who has been obtained or appointed to represent the defendant until the case is resolved.
District Attorney A lawyer, selected or appointed in a judicial district, to serve as prosecutor for the state in criminal cases.
Disposition The final outcome of a case, either by trial or plea bargain.
Due Process The judicial procedures established to protect the constitutional rights of the individual(s) involved.
Evidence A fact presented before the court that provides information about the crime, i.e., witnesses, weapon.
Felony A classification of more serious types of crime against persons or property, for which punishment can include imprisonment in a state facility or death.
Misdemeanor An offense that is less serious than a felony and can result in short term imprisonment in local detention facilities, fines, and/or probation.
Plaintiff A person who brings civil suit before the court.
Preliminary Hearing A hearing generally held in County Court, where the District Attorney will attempt to show there is sufficient cause and evidence to substantiate the charges filed against the defendant. If sufficient cause is established; the defendant is bound over for trial.
Prosecutor A lawyer, usually a District Attorney, who represents the state in criminal legal proceedings.
Public Defender A lawyer, employed by the state or appointed by a judge, to represent a defendant who is unable to hire an attorney on his own.
Restraining Order A written document defined by the court that orders the defendant to refrain from making contact with the victim in person or by phone or third party.
Subpoena A written legal document directing the person named to appear in court on a particular date.
Summons A written legal document ordering the person named to appear in court to answer the charges in a criminal case.
Suppression of Evidence Based on the rules of the law, the judge may determine certain evidence is not allowed in court, either because one of the attorneys has requested suppression, or based on the judge’s own decision.
Victim A person who is harmed or suffers from an act, circumstances or conditions of criminal activity.
Witness A person present during the commission of a crime, or someone who has personal knowledge related to the crime.