Judicial Branch

Question Answer
hears cases about crimes like burglary, murder, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs criminal trial court
hears cases where one person or group thinks another person or group should pay for causing harm civil trial court
the authority of a trial court to be the first to hear a case original jurisdiction
in a civil trial, the person who brings suit in court plaintiff
an attorney who represents the government in a criminal case prosecutor
The person against whom a civil or criminal suit is brought in court defendant
a group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial grand jury
a formal charge of criminal action by a grand jury indictment
the fair administration of justice procedural due process
a legal principle created by an appellate court decision that lower court judges must follow when deciding similar cases precedent
a Latin term meaning “let the decision stand”; refers to the principle that courts should follow precedent stare decisis
a federal law; a law written by a legislative branch statute
the divisions under the United States Federal Courts system, grouped into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a federal court of appeals, also called a U.S. Circuit Court regional circuit
a written statement setting forth the legal arguments, relevant facts, and precedents supporting one side of a case brief
an unwritten rule declaring that if four of the nine Supreme Court justices agree to hear a case, it will be scheduled for argument rule of four
a lawsuit occurring at the appeals level of the court system appellate litigation
the philosophy that courts should generally avoid overturning laws passed or actions taken by democratically elected bodies judicial restraint
the philosophy that courts must sometimes step into political and social controversies in order to protect Constitutional rights judicial activism
everything that happens to a person who commits a crime, from arrest through prosecution and conviction to release from prison criminal justice process
to conduct criminal proceedings in court against prosecute
a reasonable basis to believe a person or premises are linked to a crime probable cause
anything prohibited by law from being imported, exported, or possessed contraband
a rule that forbids the introduction of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial exclusionary rule
the right for a defendant being taken into police custody to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination and the right to an attorney; the police must inform a defendant of these rights before questioning Miranda rights
an agreement whereby a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser crime than the one with which a defendant was originally charged and in return the government agrees not to prosecute the defendant for the more serious crime plea bargain
any act that a juvenile can be lawfully detained for, but which is not a crime if committed by an adult status offense

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