Terms of Criminal Law

By Joseph J. Rodgers, Chartered, Attorney at Law

Burdens of Proof - In a criminal case, the State has the burden of proving "beyond a reasonable doubt" that a defendant committed a crime. A reasonable doubt is an honest and reasonable uncertainty about the guilt of the defendant.
In comparison, in a civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving "by a preponderance of the evidence" that a defendant is liable for some act. In other words, the plaintiff must prove only that a fact is more likely true than not true. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a heavier burden than proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
Grand Jury - The Prosecutor presents evidence to a jury of not more than twenty-three citizens and asks them to determine whether to compel a defendant to face criminal charges.
Indictment - When a grand jury determines that a defendant should face criminal charges, it returns an indictment.
Arraignment - The first appearance in court after a complaint or indictment is returned. A formal plea of "not guilty" is entered.
Plea bargain - A plea bargain is an agreement between your criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor. It usually includes a plea of guilty in exchange for a beneficial sentence.
Pre-trial intervention - Some defendants may be eligible for this program which diverts cases from the criminal courts. The pre-trial intervention program allows some first-time offenders to perform community service or other activities and have all charges dismissed.
Expungement - If you are found not guilty, or if all charges are dismissed, then you may be eligible for an expungement. An expungement erases all record of your arrest and of the charges that were filed against you.
Restraining order - When police suspect that someone may be a victim of domestic violence, a judge may grant that person a temporary restraining order. This order prohibits the person suspected of committing the violence from having any contact with the victim, under penalty of criminal charges. The court will schedule a hearing within ten days of issuing this temporary restraining order for the purpose of determining whether to grant a permanent restraining order.
Suppression motion - If the police stop your car, arrest you, search you or your home without a valid search warrant, then you may make a motion to suppress all evidence seized by the police.
Miranda rights - Before questioning a suspect, who is in custody, the police must inform him of his right to remain silent and to have counsel present during questioning. If a person requests an attorney, all questioning must stop. Answering police questions without having an attorney present usually harms a defendant more than it helps. A person should always remain silent until counsel arrives.

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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