When a jury determines that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or when a judge finds that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.
A written, or printed statement made under oath.
If a defendant has been found guilty, they can file an appeal, or request that a higher court review the decision to determine if it was correct.
The proceeding in which a defendant is brought to court, informed of the charges and asked whether or not they plead guilty or not guilty.
A trial in which there is no jury and the judge decides the case.
Burden of Proof
The responsibility of producing sufficient evidence in support of a fact or issue and favorably persuading the trier of fact regarding that fact or issue.
Cause of Action
Refers to the reason for which a plaintiff has filed a complaint or suit against someone.
Cases that are typically disputes between individuals and are adjudicated through civil lawsuits.
Generally cases that involve offense against the state and are therefore prosecuted by the state.
The testimony if a witness other than in open court. This is often in the form of an oral statement made before an officer who is authorized to administer oaths.
All procedures used to obtain evidence prior to going to trial.
When a charge, responsibility, duty, or other blame imposed by law is removed.
A grand jury consists of 16-23 citizens who, upon listening to evidence presented by prosecutors, determine whether there is probable cause to believe the accused party committed an offense. The decision of a grand jury will determine if a case will be brought to trial.
When a jury is unable to reach a verdict, it’s considered a hung jury. If a trail ends this way, the case will then see a retrial with a new jury.
A trial in which a jury serves as the trier of fact.
Used to describe the criminal intent of an individual when committing a crime, otherwise known as criminal responsibility.
The act of knowingly making a false statement while under oath or bound by an affirmation or other officially prescribed declaration that what one says, writes, or claims in true.
After an arraignment, the defendant will return to court. If the defendant pled “not guilty”, the judge would use the hearing to set a date for trial. This hearing also allows legal teams to challenge the permissibility of evidence, come to settlement agreements and discuss other important pretrial matters.
The voluntary action by a judge or prosecutor to remove themselves from presiding in a case. Often based on this such as bias, conflict of interest, or prejudice.
When a lawyer questions his or her witness, it’s referred to as a direct examination. After, the opposing side can cross examine the witness. Redirect examination refers to further questioning of a witness that can take place after cross examination.