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Glossary and Terms

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. Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court in order to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (“skipping bail”, or “jumping bail”, is also illegal). In most cases money for the bail bonds will be returned at the end of the trial, if all court appearances are made, no matter whether the person is found guilty of the crime accused.

Bail Bondsman. A bail bondsman is any person or company that will act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of a criminal defendant in court.

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

Cash Bond. Typically “cash only”, where the defendant must provide the amount of the bail to the court.

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

Collateral. A security or guarantee (usually an asset) pledged for the repayment of a loan if one cannot procure enough funds to repay.

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.

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.

Judge. An official who presides over a court and are required to be impartial and not influenced by outside factors.

Jury. A sworn body of persons convened to render a rational, impartial verdict and a finding of fact on a legal question officially submitted to them, or to set a penalty or judgment in a jury trial of a court of law.

Jury Trial. Trial is held before a group of disinterested members of the community.

Lawyer. Also known as an attorney, a person trained and licensed to practice law – to represent clients in legal matters, both in and out of court, and to give legal advice.

Offense. An act that violates a law.

Prosecutor. Typically lawyers who possess a university degree in law, are recognized as legal professionals by the court in which they intend to represent the state.

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. Typically a monetary amount is set by the court, but is not paid by the defendant unless it is forfeited by the court. Other forms of punishment, such as imprisonment, may still be levied by the court for those failing to appear when required. Also known as Own Recognizance.

Remand. (1.) Send back a case to the trial court or lower appellate court for action or (2.) The imprisonment of criminal suspects awaiting trial or sentencing. A prisoner who is denied, refused or unable to meet the conditions of bail, or who is unable to post bail, may be held in a prison on remand.

Sentence. -A judges formal declaration of the punishment to be given to a person convicted of a crime.

Suspect. A person, known or unknown, suspected of committing a crime.

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

Verdict. The final decision of a jury or judges on a case before a court of law.

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

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