Criminal Defense Glossary of Terms: A - I


Appeal: A request that is made to a higher court to override a decision that was previously made by a lower court.

Acquittal: A judgment that results in defendant being proven not guilty.

Arraignment: A court proceeding that involves the accused individual being brought into the court, made aware of the charges against them and then pleads not guilty or guilty.

Bail: A cash amount that is paid in order to release an accused individual until it is time for their trial and the case is resolved.

Deposition: A statement that is made orally to administer an oath. A deposition may be taken to examine a potential witness.

Double Jeopardy: A term that is used to refer to the fact that an individual cannot be tried twice for the same crime.

Felony: A crime that results in more than one year in prison.

Grand Jury: A group of individuals that listen to criminal allegations and evidence that is presented by the government and then determines if there is probable cause to believe that the crime was committed.

Habeas Corpus: A petition that requires an incarcerated individual to go before the court to determine if there is probable cause to be held.

Indictment: Issued by a grand jury, an indictment is a formal charge that states if there is enough evidence to justify that the defendant must have a trial.

Infraction: A mild violation of the law, not punishable by time in jail.