Probation Glossary

  • Addiction

    A behavior pattern of compulsive drug use, characterized by overwhelming involvement with the use of the drug, the securing of its supply, and a high tendency to relapse after withdrawal.


  • Arraignment

    The legal proceeding at which formal charges are read, the defendant is notified of his rights, and his plea to the charge(s) is requested.  The trial demand, either by jury or judge, is made and the terms of the defendant's pre-trial release are set.


  • Arrest

    The act of taking a person into custody by authority of law.
  • Bail

    A method of pre-trial release of an accused person by having him post financial security or an appearance bond to ensure his appearance at later proceedings.


  • Commitment

    Consignment to a place of official confinement of a person found guilty of a crime.


  • Continuance

    A postponement of a proceeding in a case to a later date. Only the court may grant this.


  • Defendant

    A person formally accused of a crime.


  • Depressants

    Drugs that slow down the central nervous system such as barbiturates and alcohol.


  • Felony

    A serious criminal offense punishable by more than six months in prison. These offenses may only be tried in a County Court of Common Pleas.


  • Misdemeanor

    A criminal offense less serious than a felony and punishable by not more than six months in jail. Only these offenses may be tried in a Municipal Court.


  • No Contact

    A No Contact Order issued by the Court.


  • Recidivism

    Reversion or relapse into prior criminal habits even after being punished.


  • Bailiff

    The special assistant to an individual judge, who takes care of the judge's personal docket and his/her calendar. He or she is in charge of the jury, swears in the witnesses and, in general controls the operation of the courtroom.


  • Trial

    A judicial examination, in accordance with the law of a cause either civil or criminal of the issues between the respective parties. The judge or jury receives the testimony and evidence.


  • TPO

    A Temporary Protection Order


  • Capias

    A legal writ of process commanding the officer to arrest the person named on it.


  • Pre-Sentence Report

    An investigation and summary report of the background of an offender, prepared to help the Judge to render an appropriate sentence.


  • Narcotics

    Drugs related to opium, morphine, and heroin.


  • Tolerance

    After repeated administration, a given dose of a drug produces a decreased effect i.e., increasingly larger doses must be administered to obtain the effects observed with the original doses.


  • Prosecutor

    An officer of the government whose function is to carry out a legal action against an accused person.


  • Complainant

    One who files a complaint (i.e., victim/witness).


  • Restitution

    Compensation ordered by a court to be paid to a victim for injuries or damages caused by the defendant.


  • Complaint

    A document prepared by the prosecutor as a means of presenting the charges against the defendant to the court.


  • Parole

    A method of community supervision after being released from prison.


  • Probation

    The release under conditions of good behavior of a person convicted of crime, as an alternative to imprisonment.


Copyright© 2012 | Home | Terms of Use | ADA Notice Site MapWebmaster | RDWeb | WebMail