Adult Probation >Victim Services >Victims Rights Glossary

Victims Rights Glossary
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Case The activities, contacts, programs, progress, and problems related to a client. Case Load The total number of clients registered with a probation/parole department or officer at a specified point in time. Cause A case. Certiorari A writ issued by a court directing a lower court or other official body to send the records of a case so it may be reviewed. Chambers Private office suite of the Judge and his/her staff. Proceedings held in chambers do not require a jury and are rarely open to the press, and only by permission of the Judge. Change of Plea Hearing A hearing where the defendant enters a different plea. Charging The initial legal process where the prosecutor files court papers accusing a person of committing specific crimes by a criminal complaint or indictment. Circumstancial Evidence Indirect evidence. Civil Complaint The first pleading in a civil case filed by the plaintiff. It alleges the material facts and legal theories to support the plaintiff's claim against the defendant. Commutation The reduction of a sentence, as from death to life imprisonment. Complaint A charging document in a lower court (City or Justice Court) which tells the defendant the nature of the charge against him or her and when and where it occurred. Concurrent A sentence in which two or more sentences are ordered to serve simultaneously. The defendant is entitled to discharge at the expiration of the longest term specified. Conditional Release The release of an inmate to the custody of a third party contingent upon obeying specified rules of behavior. Consecutive A sentence in which a defendant convicted of two or more counts or charges, does not serve the second until the first is completed. Constable Officer primarily responsible for processing services and performing minor legal duties in Justice of the Peace Courts. Continuance The postponement of a court event to a future day and time. Conviction Finding by a Judge or jury that a person charged with a criminal offense is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of committing the crime charged. Counsel A lawyer appearing on behalf of someone. Cop a Plea Slang for "plea bargain" in which an accused defendant in a criminal case agrees to plead guilty or "no contest" to a crime in return for a promise of a recommendation of leniency in sentencing to be made by the prosecutor to the Judge and/or an agreement by the prosecutor to drop some of the charges. Often the Judge agrees to the recommendation before the plea is entered (becomes final). Court Commissioner Authorized to perform limited judicial functions. Commissioners are frequently full time judicial officers appointed by the presiding Judge. In Superior Court, commissioners must have practiced law for 5 years or more. Court Clerk A member of a Judge's staff in charge of keeping the court records and exhibits. The clerk generates a Minute Entry after each proceeding. Court Ordered Release A provisional exit by a judicial authority from a prison facility system of a prisoner who has not served his or her full sentence. Freedom is conditional upon appeal and a special writ or other special legal proceeding. Court Reporter A person who works with a Judge's staff to transcribe by shorthand or record stenographically the testimony during court proceedings. Note: transcripts are not automatic; they are generated when requested. Criminal Complaint A written criminal charge, usually filed before a magistrate, that the defendant has committed a specified criminal offense. Criminal Damage Recklessly damages property of another in an amount of $250 or more. Criminal Trespass Entering or remaining unlawfully on the property of another and burning, defacing, mutilating or otherwise desecrating a religious symbol or property. Class 6 felony if it is a residential structure. Cross Examination Questions asked of a witness by the attorney for the party that did not call the witness to testify. Cumulative Sentence A sentence imposed for a crime in addition to a sentence imposed for another crime, not to be served at the same time. Culpable/Culpability A mental state that must be proven for certain types of crime and means any of the following:
  1. Intentionally-a person's objective is to cause a result or to engage in that conduct.
  2. Knowingly-a person is aware or believes his or her conduct is of that nature or the circumstances exist.
  3. Recklessly-a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk the result will occur.
  4. Criminal Negligence-a person fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk the result will occur.
Custodial Interfereance A person who has no legal right, takes, entices, or keeps from lawful custody any child under 18 or imcompetent.

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