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Affidavit
A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.

Appeal
A request made after a trial by a party that has lost on one or more issues that a higher court (appellate court) review the trial court's decision to determine if it was correct. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the "appellant;" the other party is the "appellee."

Arraignment
Arraignment of an accused consists of calling upon him by name, reading to him the charges in the arrest documents, and demanding of him how he pleads. This hearing may be combined with a right to counsel hearing.

Arrest
The action of the police, or person acting under the law, to take a person into custody so that they may be forthcoming to answer for the commission of a crime.

Arrest Warrant
A warrant issued by a public officer that authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.

Bail
Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody to secure his appearance on the day and time set by the court.

Bail Bondsman
Any person in the business of becoming or engaging in a surety on a bail bond for compensation, and includes any agent of such person.

Bail Forfeiture
Order by the court that the surety pay to the court the amount of security pledged for failure of an accused to comply with the requirements of the bond.

Bounty Hunter
An individual who seeks out fugitives ('Hunting') for a monetary reward ('Bounty'), for apprehending by law, if such laws exist.

Charge
In criminal law, the crime a person is accused of.

Conviction
A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.

Court Order
A command or mandatory direction of a judge which is made during a case. Also includes a command of the judge which established courtroom or administrative procedures.

Criminal Trial
A criminal trial is designed to resolve accusations brought by the government against a person accused of a crime.

Defendant
Any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute.

Deposition
An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.

Discovery
The process by which lawyers learn about their opponent's case in preparation for trial. Typical tools of discovery include depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requests for documents. All of these devices help the lawyer learn the relevant facts and collect and examine any relevant documents or other materials.

Docket
A log containing the complete history of each case in the form of brief chronological entries summarizing the court proceedings.

Failure to appear (FTA)
Failure to appear in court as promised is a violation of the law which may result in an arrest warrant, fines, and other penalties. Any time an individual has a duty, or has made an agreement, to appear in court, they can be penalized for failure to appear. A failure to appear can involve a traffic court appointment, jury services, a civil case, or a criminal case.

Fugitive
A person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals.

Habeas Corpus
A writ (court order) that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. Also for bail reduction and/or bail consideration.

Indictment
The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.

Initial Appearance
The procedure by which an arrested defendant is promptly brought before a judicial officer who advises the defendant of the charges against him, his right to counsel, and his first day to appear in court and establishes conditions of pre-trial release. It also includes a probable cause determination on a warrant-less arrest and advice of preliminary hearing in felony cases.

Licensed Bail Agent
A licensed bail agent is a person or company authorized by a governmental regulatory agency to arrange bail for people accused of crimes. Licensing ensures that your bail agent engages is legitimate practices and can be held accountable for any misdoings.

Misdemeanor
A minor criminal offense.

Offense
An act that violates a law.

Probation
A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision of a probation officer, who makes certain that the defendant follows certain rules (e.g., gets a job, gets drug counseling, etc.).

Recognizance
A promise made by the accused to the court that said person will attend all required judicial proceedings and will not engage in further illegal activity or other prohibited conduct as set by the court. 

Subpoena
A command, issued under authority of a court or other authorized government entity, to a witness to appear and give testimony.

Surety
One who makes himself responsible for the defendant's obligation to appear in court and agrees to pay money or do other acts in the event that the defendant does not appear.

Trial
The presentation of information in a formal setting, usually a court.

Verdict
The decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant, or that determines the final outcome of a civil case.

Warrant
An authorization, typically issued by a judge or magistrate, which commands an act to be performed for instance a warrant for an arrest.

Witness
A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.