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Criminal Defense GLOSSARY

Glossary of Criminal Defense Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

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Panel: (1) In appellate cases, a group of judges (usually three) assigned to decide the case; (2) In the jury selection process, the group of potential jurors.

Parties: Plaintiffs and defendants (petitioners and respondents) to lawsuits, also known as appellants and appellees in appeals, and their lawyers.

Personal recognizance: In criminal proceedings, the pretrial release of a defendant without bail upon his or her promise to return to court. (See also recognizance.)

Petit jury (or trial jury): A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons.

Petty offense: Misdemeanor punishable by six months or less in prison.

Plea: in a criminal case, the defendant=s statement pleading guilty or not guilty in answer to charges presented.

Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.

Pretrial conference: A meeting of the judge and lawyers to discuss which matters should be presented to the jury, to review evidence and witnesses, to set a timetable, and to discuss the settlement of the case.

Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.

Procedure: The rules for the conduct of a lawsuit; there are rules of civil, criminal, evidence, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure.

Pro se: A Latin term meaning "on one's own behalf"; refers to people representing their own cases without attorney representation.

Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.

Proxy: The instrument authorizing one person to represent, act, and vote for another at a shareholders' meeting of a corporation.
 

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Joe Griffith Co-Authors Book On Health Care Fraud Joe Griffith Co-Authors Book On Securities Fraud
 
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