Accessory: a person who knowingly and intentionally contributes to or aids in the commission of a crime


Accessory After the Fact: An accessory who was not at the scene of the crime but knows that a crime has been committed and who helps the offender try to escape arrest or punshiment


Acquittal:  criminal defendant being found "not guilty" of the crime


Adjournment: postponing or rescheduling a case or court session until another date or time


Affidavit: written statement of fact that is verified by oath or affirmation before a notary officer having authority to adminster oaths


Answer: a party's written resposne to a legal pleading, such as a motion or brief


Bail: Bond money paid to a court by or on behalf of a criminal defendant as security that, when released from jail, the defendant will appear at future hearings. If another person posts the bail money, then that third party vouches that the defendant will appear at future court dates. Bail can be forfeited if the defendant fails to appear or violates release conditions.


Bench Trial: A trial held before a judge and without a jury.


Bench Warrant: a Court order commanding the defendant's arrest and appearance in Court after previously failing to appear for a hearing


Brief: written arguments submitted by the lawyers for each side in a case explaining and/or supporting their respective positions


Capital offense: crime punishable by death


Charge to the Jury:  A judge’s instructions to a jury. The instructions contain information on the laws relating to the case, definitions of legal terms and explanations of procedures relevant to the jury’s duties.


Controlled Dangerous Substance: any substance whose possession and use have been regulated by the legislature


Chambers: judge's office


Conviction: judge or jury's decision that the accused person is guilty of the crime


Defendant: a person who has been formally charged with committing a crime


Defense Attorney: an attorney who represents the defendant in a lawsuit or criminal case


Deliberations: discussions held by the jury, after all evidence has been presented, to decide outsome of a case


Direct Examination: questioning of a witness by the party who first called the witness to the stand


Docket Number: number assigned by the court's clerk to identify each case


Evidence: information prsented in testimony, documents, physical objects used to prove or disprove facts relevant to a case


Expungement: process where a conviction may be set aside


Felony: crime carrying more that one year possible incarceration


Grand Jury: group of citizens convened in a criminal case to consider the prosecutor's evidence and determine whether probable cause exists to prosecute a suspect


Hung Jury: a criminal jury that cannot reach a unanimous verdict


Incriminate: to charge with or show evidence or proof of involvement in a crime


Indictment: a formal written statement from a grand jury charging a person with a crime


Juror: a member of a jury


Leading Question: a question that instructs a witness hwo to answer, or suggests which answer is desired


Misdemeanor: crime carrying maximum jail time of one year or less


Mistrial: an erroneous or invalid trial; a trial declared by a judge to be defective


Plaintiff: a person who files a lawsuit;opposite of defendant


Prosecute: to bring legal action against someone for punishment of a crime or violation of the law, by the District Attorney's Office


Prosecuting Attorney: an attorney from the District Attorney's Office who conducts proceedings on behalf of the state


Testimony: evidence presented orally and under oath by witnesses during trial or other proceedings


Transcript: official record of the testimony taken in a trial or hearing


Vacate: to set aside


Verdict: decision of a jury or a judge on the issues submitted to the Court for determination


Victim: person or entity who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial. or emtional harm as a result of the commission of a crime


Voir Dire: process of jury selection, generally involving the judge and attorneys asking potentional jurors about their experiences and beliefs.  The purpose is to determine if the juror is appropriate for sitting on the case at hand, particularly their willingess to decide case only on the evidence presented in Court.  This French term means "to speak the truth"


Waiver: intentionally giving up a right


Warrant: Court order authorizing an arrest or search