- 18 to 25Direct link to this item
A person who is at least 18 years of age but not older than 25 years of age.
- 26 to 35Direct link to this item
A person who is at least 26 years of age but not older than 35 years of age.
- 36 to 45Direct link to this item
A person who is at least 36 years of age but not older than 45 years of age.
- 46 to 65Direct link to this item
A person who is at least 46 years of age but not older than 65 years of age.
- AcquittalDirect link to this item
When an accused criminal defendant is found not guilty at trial.
- AdjudicationDirect link to this item
When a court makes an order or judgment in a case.
- Aggravated AssaultDirect link to this item
An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or displays it in a threatening manner, or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness. This also includes assault with disease (as in cases when the offender is aware that they are infected with a deadly disease and deliberately attempts to inflict the disease by biting, spitting, etc.) Source: FBI, NIBRS Offense Definitions.
- AppealDirect link to this item
A defendant can appeal their conviction to a higher court. They must file the appeal within a certain amount of time after conviction, as required by state law.
- AppearanceDirect link to this item
A scheduled court hearing to which the defendant appeared or showed up.
- ArraignmentDirect link to this item
After an arrest is made and charges have been filed by the police department, the defendant is expected to appear in court to have their charges read to them. This is also the time in which they enter their plea and bail is either set or reserved for a later time at request of the defense.
- ArrestDirect link to this item
When law enforcement takes an individual into custody upon suspicion of committing a crime or pursuant to a warrant.
- Arrest WarrantDirect link to this item
An arrest warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or a magistrate authorizing law enforcement to take an individual into custody for criminal investigation.
- Asian or Pacific IslanderDirect link to this item
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands (including Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, among others).
- Assault on Officer or First ResponderDirect link to this item
Assault or battery against a peace officer, police officer, or first responder involves injuring or harming an officer or first responder who's performing their official duties Source: NOLO, Assault or Battery Against a Police Officer.
- Attorney WithdrawalDirect link to this item
An attorney terminates representation of their client, whether voluntarily or under circumstances that require it.
- AverageDirect link to this item
A number expressing the typical value in a set of data, which is calculated by dividing the sum of all the values in the set by the total number of values.
- BailDirect link to this item
Money or bond pledged to the court in return for the release of a defendant from custody, with the understanding that the individual will return to court for trial.
- Bench TrialDirect link to this item
In a bench trial there is no jury. The judge makes the determination of guilt and decides on the appropriate sentence or punishment.
- Bench Warrant - Failure to AppearDirect link to this item
When a defendant fails to show up to a scheduled court appearance, the judge or magistrate can issue a bench warrant authorizing law enforcement to take an individual into custody.
- Beyond a Reasonable DoubtDirect link to this item
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt means that a defendant may only be convicted if there is no reasonable possibility, based on the evidence, that they are not guilty of the crime.
- BlackDirect link to this item
A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
- BondDirect link to this item
A portion of bail paid by a defendant, or a bail bondsman, or other contractor on the defendant's behalf. Typically, the defendant must offer a certain percentage of bail in cash and the rest in some form of collateral. The defendant or representative is responsible to pay the remainder of the bail if the defendant fails to appear for their court dates.
- Bond ForfeitureDirect link to this item
The action taken by the court when a person is in default of a bond obligation.
- Bond MotionDirect link to this item
A motion to allow a defendant out on bond or reduce the existing amount.
- CaseDirect link to this item
In order to have a standard definition across states, we consider all charges associated with the same defendant that were filed in court on the same date as a single case. We assume that when a prosecutor files multiple charges together, even for different incidents, they intend to resolve these charges at the same time. For cases that didn't pass review and are not pursued in court, we use the date when the prosecutor's office received the case.
- Case DismissalDirect link to this item
When certain criteria are met, a case can be dismissed by a judge or withdrawn (also known as nolle prosequi) by a prosecutor. This ends the case and the defendant is free to go.
- Case DispositionDirect link to this item
The final judgment or decision by the court that closes the case.
- Case FilingDirect link to this item
Criminal proceedings are initiated if and when the police decides to file a case with the court. However, felonies must be reviewed by a Grand Jury before charging the suspect.
- Case Management SystemDirect link to this item
Case Management Systems are software solutions that help agencies track and store case information in a centralized location.
- Case ReviewDirect link to this item
Once the police make an arrest or issue a citation on suspicion that a crime took place, the facts and evidence against the defendant must be reviewed to determine whether prosecution should proceed. Depending on the jurisdiction and the seriousness of the charges, this review is conducted by the prosecutor's office before any charges are filed in court, by the prosecutor's office after the police have already filed charges in court, or by a Grand Jury when the case is a serious felony. When the case passes this review process, the defendant's prosecution in court moves forward or, alternatively, a pretrial diversion offer may be made by the prosecutor or the court. When the case does not pass the review process, the prosecution of the defendant cannot proceed.
- Case TransferDirect link to this item
When a case is transferred or moved to the jurisdiction of a different court and prosecutor. A transfer usually occurs when a defendant is arrested for an offense that was committed in a different county.
- Change of VenueDirect link to this item
When there is reasonable likelihood that the defendant cannot receive a fair trial in the original court or jurisdiction, for example, because there is evidence that the judge or the jury pool are prejudiced against the defendant, the defendant can request a change of venue and have their case tried in a different jurisdiction.
- ChargedDirect link to this item
Criminal proceedings are initiated if and when the police decides to file a case with the court.
- ChargesDirect link to this item
A criminal charge is a formal accussation by a governmental authority that an individual has commited a crime.
- Charging DecisionDirect link to this item
After conducting an arrest and reviewing the evidence against the suspect, the police must decide whether to file the case in court or not.
- CitationDirect link to this item
A law enforcement officer directs a person to appear in court and answer to a misdemeanor or infraction charge by issuing a citation. Citations are also called desk appearance tickets, notices to appear, or summons.
- Commercialized ViceDirect link to this item
The unlawful promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit. Source: FBI, 2019, Crime in the United States, Offense Definitions.
- Community ServiceDirect link to this item
A sentencing option in which the court orders the convicted defendant to perform a number of hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the public.
- ContinuanceDirect link to this item
A continuance or adjournment takes place when the prosecution or defense (or both) request that the proceedings in a criminal case be postponed or continued at a later time.
- ConvictionDirect link to this item
A person is found guilty at trial or pleads guilty or "no contest" to the charge.
- County ResidentDirect link to this item
A person who lives within the administrative boundaries of the county.
- Court-Appointed Private AttorneyDirect link to this item
In lieu of public defenders, some states may contract with private attorneys to provide counsel for defendants unable to afford an attorney on their own.
- Criminal RecordDirect link to this item
List of arrests and/or convictions a defendant may have in their criminal history.
- Criminal Traffic CaseDirect link to this item
Cases that involve individuals accused of illegal activites that occur while they are operating a motor vehicle (driving without a license, reckless driving, etc.). This category excludes DUIs, which are tracked separately in the Commons platform.
- Criminal Traffic FelonyDirect link to this item
Serious offenses that involve individuals accused of illegal activities that occur while they are operating a motor vehicle (e.g., evading a police officer with reckless driving, etc). This category excludes DUIs, which are tracked separately in the Commons platform.
- Criminal Traffic MisdemeanorDirect link to this item
Usually minor offenses that involve individuals accused of illegal activites that occur while they are operating a motor vehicle (e.g., driving without a license,etc.). This category excludes DUIs, which are tracked separately in the Commons platform.
- Custodial PunishmentDirect link to this item
A type of sentence that involves incarceration or commitment to some other institution, such as in-patient treatment or hospitalization in a mental health facility.
- DUIDirect link to this item
Driving under the influence cases involve an individual accused of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- DUI FelonyDirect link to this item
Driving under the influence (DUI) felonies are serious offenses in which an individual is accused of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs with either prior convictions for DUI or because they caused injury.
- DUI MisdemeanorDirect link to this item
Driving under the influence (DUI) misdemeanors are minor offenses in which an individual is accused of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Death PenaltyDirect link to this item
Also known as capital punishment, the death penalty is the most severe type of punishment that can be handed down by the criminal justice system. As such, it is reserved for the most egregious crimes. Capital punishment is currently used in 27 states, 23 states have abolished it, and governors in five states have put a hold on executions. For more information on the death penalty, please visit deathpenaltyinfo.org.
- DefendantDirect link to this item
A person or entity formally accused (charged) of committing a criminal offense.
- Didn't Pass ReviewDirect link to this item
Before a case can be prosecuted, a thorough review of the facts and the evidence must be conducted. In some states, the prosecutor's office reviews all cases they receive before making a decision to pursue them in court or not, while in other places the prosecutor's office won't see the case and review its merits until after law enforcement have already filed the case in court. In both instances, when the prosecutor finds that the facts and evidence don't support the charges, the case does not pass review and it's either rejected and not filed in court, or withdrawn from the court docket in places where the police can file the charges directly with the courts.
When it comes to felonies, particularly the most serious types, most states, except Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, use a Grand Jury system to determine whether reasonable cause exists to indict a defendant. When the determination is that there is no reasonable cause to indict, the Grand Jury will file a "no bill," which means that the felony charge(s) cannot be prosecuted. This is equivalent to the case not passing review.
For more information on the prosecutor's role, visit the American Bar Association's Standards for the Prosecution Function
- DiscoveryDirect link to this item
The process through which information and evidence in a case is shared with the defense by the prosecutor.
- DismissedDirect link to this item
When certain criteria are met, a case can be dismissed by a judge or withdrawn (also known as nolle prosequi) by a prosecutor. This ends the case and the defendant is free to go.
- DisparityDirect link to this item
A disparity in criminal justice is when people in one group (e.g., a race or ethnicity, a gender, or a socio-economic class) experience a different outcome at some step in the process (e.g., charging, disposition, or sentencing) than those in another group. The outcomes of all of these steps can be documented with data and percentages. When significantly different percentages are documented for the outcomes between two groups, that is a disparity. When the percentages between the two groups are the same, very close, or not significantly different, no disparity exists.
- DistributionDirect link to this item
A distribution is a collection of data, or scores, on a variable. Usually, the scores are arranged from smallest to largest and they can be presented graphically.
- DiversionDirect link to this item
Pretrial diversion programs offer eligible defendants a chance to avoid charges, incarceration, or a criminal record, provided the conditions of the program are completed. The prosecutor or the court may offer the defendant such a program before or after charges have been filed in court.
- Domestic AbuseDirect link to this item
The use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force or a weapon; or the use of coercion or intimidation; or committing a crime against the victim's property by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim; a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian; or by a person who is or has been similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
- DropDirect link to this item
Prosecutors may "drop" or "withdraw" (also known as nolle prosequi) charges against a defendant after they have been filed in court by requesting that the judge dismiss them. When all charges are dropped or withdrawn by the prosecutor, the case is dismissed and closed.
- Drug CaseDirect link to this item
Cases that involve the alleged possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia.
- Drug CourtDirect link to this item
Courts that specialize on diverting drug offenders from traditional prosecution. Conditions usually include drug treatment.
- Drug FelonyDirect link to this item
Serious offenses involving the alleged distribution or manufacture of controlled substances.
- Drug MisdemeanorDirect link to this item
Minor offenses involving the alleged possession, use, or distribution of controlled substances.
- Electronic MonitoringDirect link to this item
In some jurisdictions, the court may decide to release the defendant pretrial and order them to use an electronic device to track their location at certain times.
- Event MarkerDirect link to this item
Event Markers highlight events that could have an effect on the trend of a given measure because they may impact the type and volume of cases the prosecutor's office receives, how they are processed, or their outcomes.
- EvidenceDirect link to this item
Physical items or statements of fact (or relevant statements of opinion, such as those from experts, for example) that are gathered as part of an investigation and/or presented in court to determine the factual truth of accusations under investigation.
- ExpungementDirect link to this item
Restricts and / or limits access to a criminal record.
- ExtraditionsDirect link to this item
Formal process of one jurisdiction turning over an individual to another jurisdiction for prosecution or punishment for crimes committed in the requesting jurisdiction.
- Failure to AppearDirect link to this item
Also known as an "FTA," a failure to appear in court is when a defendant doesn't show up for a scheduled court hearing. FTAs can affect the pretrial release status of a defendant since they can lead to the judge issuing a warrant for the defendant's arrest.
- FelonyDirect link to this item
Serious offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year may be imposed.
- FemaleDirect link to this item
A person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and who is typically capable of bearing children.
- Fewer ChargesDirect link to this item
Prosecutors have a number of alternatives to offer defendants when negotiating a plea deal. One such option involves prosecutors offering to withdraw or dismiss some of the charges that were originally filed against the defendant, effectively reducing the total number of charges on which a defendant will be convicted. This is also known as count bargaining.
- Fifth AmendmentDirect link to this item
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
- FineDirect link to this item
A monetary amount imposed as a penalty on defendants after conviction. The amount to be paid is set by statutory laws and based on the severity of the crime.
- Forgery / FraudDirect link to this item
The altering, copying, or imitation of something, including written documents, without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying, or possession of an altered, copied, or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud. Source: FBI, 2018 NIBRS Offense Definitions.
- Fourteenth AmendmentDirect link to this item
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
- Grand JuryDirect link to this item
A Grand Jury is a group of citizens empowered by law to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against a defendant through an indictment. The prosecutor presents the case to the Grand Jury, but the group can conduct their own independent investigation, including requesting witness testimony and additional documentation. The Grand Jury proceedings are private.
- Guilty PleaDirect link to this item
A defendant admits respoinsibility for a crime and forfeits their right to trial.
- Guilty VerdictDirect link to this item
A guilty verdict is when a jury (or a judge in a bench trial) finds the defendant guilty of at least one of the charges against them.
- HearingDirect link to this item
Any formal proceeding in court in which evidence is presented and/or arguments are made in favor of a certain outcome on a case.
- Hispanic or LatinoDirect link to this item
A person of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
- HomicideDirect link to this item
The willfull killing of one human being by another.
- In CustodyDirect link to this item
A person is in custody when they are arrested or have surrendered themselves to the police or other legal authority. A person is also considered in custody if they are incarcerated.
- IncarcerationDirect link to this item
A sentence involving prison or jail confinement.
- IndictmentDirect link to this item
An indictment formally charges a person with a criminal offense. During an indictment proceeding, a Grand Jury determines whether there is probable cause or adequate basis for prosecuting the individual.
- IndigentDirect link to this item
A person is of indigent status if they do not have sufficient income to afford an attorney as determined by the courts.
- Initial AppearanceDirect link to this item
The initial appearance, or arraignment, refers to the first appearance in court when defendants learn about the charges against them and their legal rights.
- JailDirect link to this item
Jails are correctional institutions usually administered by a county that, generally, house individuals awaiting case disposition and those convicted of misdemeanor or felony charges.
- JudgeDirect link to this item
An official with the authority and responsibility to preside in a court, try criminal cases, and make final judgments or dispositions.
- JuryDirect link to this item
A jury is a group of people empowered to make findings of fact (guilty or not guilty) in a criminal trial.
- Jury TrialDirect link to this item
In a jury trial, the jury determines whether there is enough evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If the jury finds the defendant guilty, the judge will then decide on the appropriate sentence or punishment.
- Law EnforcementDirect link to this item
A law enforcement agency is an organization responsible for making sure people follow the law. Police departments, sheriff offices, and federal agencies such as the FBI are typically considered law enforcement agencies.
- Less Serious ChargesDirect link to this item
Prosecutors have a number of alternatives to offer defendants when negotiating a plea deal. One such option involves offering to reduce the severity or seriousness of the charges that were originally filed against the defendant. For instance, in a case involving felony charges at filing, the prosecutor may offer to reduce some or all of the felony charges to misdemeanors, which has the effect of exposing the defendant to a less severe punishment at sentencing. This is also known as charge bargaining.
- Less Serious FactsDirect link to this item
Prosecutors have a number of alternatives to offer defendants when negotiating a plea deal. One such option involves a stipulation by the prosecutor that the conviction is based on a specific set of facts, omitting other facts that would have led to more serious punishment. This is also known as fact bargaining.
- Life Without ParoleDirect link to this item
Prison sentence in which the defendant will spend the rest of their lives in prison and will not be able to get parole (conditional release before they complete their sentence).
- MaleDirect link to this item
A person bearing an X and Y chromosome pair in the cell nuclei and who is typically capable of producing sperm.
- MedianDirect link to this item
The median is the middle point in a series of numbers. This means that 50% of cases fall above and 50% of cases fall below the median score.
- Miranda WarningsDirect link to this item
Law enforcement officers are constitutionally mandated to read a person's rights prior to any custodial interrogation; these include: (a) the right to remain silent; (b) that any statement they make may be used against them; c) the right to an attorney; and d) the appointment of counsel if the accused cannot afford his or her own attorney.
- MisdemeanorDirect link to this item
A minor offense usually punishable by probation or at most one year in county jail.
- Misdemeanor CaseDirect link to this item
A case where the most serious charge was a misdemeanor, irrespective of whether the case was pursued in court or not.
- Missing or UnknownDirect link to this item
Values that were not provided in the original source data, were deemed unreliable during the coding process, or could not be standardized to the common codebook.
- Native American or Alaska NativeDirect link to this item
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North, Central and South America and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
- No BillDirect link to this item
When the Grand Jury did not find that the prosecutor had sufficient evidence to indict a person on the charges presented.
- Non-DUI OffenseDirect link to this item
An offense not related to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Non-criminal Traffic OffenseDirect link to this item
An offense not related to illegal activities that occur while operating a motor vehicle.
- Non-custodial PunishmentDirect link to this item
A type of sentence that does not involve incarceration or supervision of the individual in the community. Non-custodial punishments include fine, restitution, community service, among other things.
- Non-custodial ReferralDirect link to this item
A non-custodial referral occurs when law enforcement issues a citation (also known as notice to appear, desk appearance ticket, or summons) to the defendant for them to show up in court at a certain date and time.
- Non-domestic AbuseDirect link to this item
A case that does not involve conduct that would amount to domestic abuse.
- Non-jury TrialDirect link to this item
A trial in which there is no jury. The judge makes the determination of guilt and decides the sentence or punishment. This is also known as a bench trial.
- Non-sex OffenseDirect link to this item
A case that does not involve conduct that would amount to a sex offense.
- NonviolentDirect link to this item
Nonviolent offenses are those in which there was no use or threat to use violence. They include property, drug, driving under the influence, public order, criminal traffic, and other offenses.
- Not County ResidentDirect link to this item
A person who lives outside of the administrative boundaries of the county.
- Not Guilty VerdictDirect link to this item
A not guilty verdict at trial means that the jury (in jury trials) or the judge (in bench trials) found that the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged crime.
- OffenseDirect link to this item
Behavior that is prohibited by the law and considered to violate the moral standards of society.
- Other Drug OffensesDirect link to this item
Unlawful activity involving any controlled substance that does not involve possession/use or distribution/manufacture.
- Other OffenseDirect link to this item
An offense outside of the violent, property, drug, DUI, public order, and criminal traffic categories.
- Other Property OffensesDirect link to this item
Offenses in which the perpetrator steels, damages, or destroys any public or private property without the use or threat of force against the victim, excluding burgarly, arson, motor vehicle theft, forgery fraud, larceny, embezzlement, stolen property, and vandalism.
- Other Public OrderDirect link to this item
Other public order offenses include, but are not limited to: failure to appear in court, flight to avoid prosecution, parole and probation violations, contempt of court, invasion of privacy, bribery, obstruction of justice, rioting, escape from custody, taxation offenses, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
- Other RaceDirect link to this item
A person who does not identify as White, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Alaska Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. This group also includes people who identify as multiracial.
- Other SexDirect link to this item
A person who does not identify as male or female.
- Other Sex OffensesDirect link to this item
Any sexual act (excluding rape) directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Other Violent OffensesDirect link to this item
Offenses in which the perpretrator uses or threatens to use force against the victim, excluding homicide, rape, other sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, and assault on an officer or first responder.
- Other agencyDirect link to this item
Other law enforcement agencies.
- Over 65Direct link to this item
A person who is at least 66 years of age or older.
- ParaphernaliaDirect link to this item
The unlawful manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, or transportation of equipment or devices utilized in preparing and/or using drugs or narcotics.
- ParoleDirect link to this item
A convicted defendant can request that the parole authority approve a conditional release from prison before their sentence term is completed. During said release the offender is required to observe conditions of this status under the supervision of a parole agency.
- Parole ViolationDirect link to this item
When a person who was released on parole before the end of their prison term violates any of the conditions of release.
- Pending CaseDirect link to this item
A case that was filed in court for prosecution and that has not been closed or reached a disposition yet. Pending cases are also referred to as open cases.
- PleaDirect link to this item
A defendant's formal answer in court to the charges against them.
- Plea BargainDirect link to this item
A negotiation process between prosecution, defense, and judge by which the defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for concessions made by the prosecutor, typically including lesser (charge bargaining) or fewer (count bargaining) charges or less severe punishment (sentence bargaining).
- Pleading GuiltyDirect link to this item
When a defendent admits responsibility for the charges brought against them.
- Possession / UseDirect link to this item
The unlawful possession or use of any controlled substance, excluding possession with intent to sell.
- Preliminary HearingDirect link to this item
In a preliminary hearing the judge determines whether there is sufficient evidence or probable cause to believe that a felony crime occurred, that it was committed by the defendant, and that the individual should be taken to trial. Misdemeanors do not have preliminary hearings.
- Pretrial DetentionDirect link to this item
The court may decide to keep a defendant in jail for the duration of the case. Pretrial detention is often imposed when there is a high risk that the defendant won't show up in court, a high risk that they will hurt themselves or others, or when a very serious offense was committed.
- Pretrial DiversionDirect link to this item
Pretrial diversion programs offer eligible defendants a chance to avoid charges, incarceration, or a criminal record, provided the programs are completed. The prosecutor may offer the defendant the opportunity to enroll in such a program before or after charges have been filed in court.
- Pretrial Diversion ProgramDirect link to this item
A rehabilitative program or service to which a defendant can be sent so that they are steered away from standard criminal justice proceedings, and possible conviction.
- PrisonDirect link to this item
Prisons are correctional institutions administered by the states that generally house individuals convicted of felony charges.
- Probable CauseDirect link to this item
Probable cause is the legal standard for police to determine whether they can make an arrest or conduct a search. This requires that the police present facts or evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a specific suspect committed the crime. This is also known as reasonable cause.
- ProbationDirect link to this item
A punishment imposed instead of a state prison commitment that allows the defendant to remain in the community and includes conditions that a convicted defendant follow for a period of time, including jail time, payment of restitution, seek and maintain employment, and seek drug, alcohol or mental health counseling.
- Property CaseDirect link to this item
Property cases involve a victim's property that was allegedly stolen or destroyed without the use or threat of force against the victim.
- Property FeloniesDirect link to this item
Property offenses are considered felonies when the value of the property that was allegedly stolen, damaged, or destroyed, without the use or threat of force against the victim, exceeds certain monetary value.
- Property MisdemeanorsDirect link to this item
Property misdemeanors are minor offenses in which the victim's property was allegedly stolen, damaged, or destroyed without the use or threat of force against the victim.
- ProsecutionDirect link to this item
A legal process to hold a person accused of committing a crime accoutable in a court of law.
- ProsecutorDirect link to this item
A government attorney who represents the People in a criminal prosecution. Prosecutors go by different names depending on the state, including: district attorney, state attorney, prosecuting attorney, commonwealth attorney, and county attorney.
- Public Order CaseDirect link to this item
Public order cases involve defendants accused of actions or behaviors that interfere with the normal flow of society such as disorderly conduct, loitering, trepassing, weapons offenses, prostitution, lewd behavior in public, etc.
- Public Order FelonyDirect link to this item
Public order felonies are serious offenses that involve individuals accused of actions or behaviors that interfere with the normal flow of society such as rioting, escape from custody, weapons offenses, etc.
- Public Order MisdemeanorDirect link to this item
Public order misdemeanors are minor offenses involving actions or behaviors that interfere with the normal flow of society such as disorderly conduct, loitering, trespassing, etc.
- Public PolicyDirect link to this item
Relates to the decisions governments make with regards to problems affecting their communities. “Public policy is a course of action that guides a range of related actions in a given field”.
- Pursue in CourtDirect link to this item
Once law enforcement makes an arrest and files charges against a suspect in court, the case is sent to the prosecutor's office for review. The prosecutor then evaluates the evidence and decides whether it is sufficient to continue to pursue charges in court. When it is not sufficient, the prosecutor may decide to withdraw or dismiss the charges.
- RORDirect link to this item
Released on Recognizance (requiring no pre-trial conditions)
- ROR RevocationDirect link to this item
If, at any time, the defendant violates the conditions of their pretrial release, the judge can revoke the release and place them back in custody.
- Reasonable DoubtDirect link to this item
Reasonable doubt is the traditional standard of proof that must be exceeded before a defendant may be found guilty of any crime by a court or jury.
- RecidivismDirect link to this item
Recidivism refers to a person's relapse into criminal behavior after they have been sanctioned or received treatment for a previous crime.
- Recommend Less Severe SentenceDirect link to this item
Prosecutors have the ability to make sentencing recommendations to the judge after a conviction. Therefore, prosecutors can offer to recommend a less severe sentence to the judge, if the defendant agrees to plead guilty. This is also known as sentence bargaining.
- Released on SupervisionDirect link to this item
In some jurisdictions, the court may decide to release the defendant pretrial with a condition to report periodically to a supervising authority, such as pretrial services or probation.
- RestitutionDirect link to this item
When a victim suffers a loss as a result of a criminal offense, a convicted defendant may be ordered to partially or fully compensate that victim for the losses suffered as part of the sentence.
- Restorative JusticeDirect link to this item
Theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior as opposed to focusing on punishment.
- RobberyDirect link to this item
The taking, or attempting to take, anything of value under confrontational circumstances from the control, custody, or care of another person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear of immediate harm. Source: FBI, 2018 NIBRS Offense Definitions.
- SentenceDirect link to this item
Formal legal consequences or punishment imposed on a defendant after conviction.
- SentencingDirect link to this item
The act of imposing formal legal consequences or punishment associated with a conviction.
- Sex OffenseDirect link to this item
Any sexual act including Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Assault With An Object, or Fondling directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent; also unlawful sexual intercourse. Source: FBI, 2018 NIBRS Offense Definitions.
- Sixth AmendmentDirect link to this item
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."
- Split SentenceDirect link to this item
A period of confinement in jail or prison followed by a period of supervision in the community or probation.
- SuretyDirect link to this item
Person who agrees to pay the amount of money specified in a written agreement (surety undertaking) if the accused fails to appear in court. This is sometimes a requirement before a defendant is released on bail.
- SuspectDirect link to this item
A suspect is someone who is being investigated by law enforcement in connection with the commission of a crime.
- Traditional ProsecutionDirect link to this item
The standard approach of prosecuting an individual within the criminal justice system by initiating criminal charges and pursuing those charges to a final outcome, either by trial or plea bargaining.
- TrialDirect link to this item
A criminal trial is a judicial examination and determination of facts and legal issues arising in a case. The prosecution represents the people and is responsible for presenting evidence proving that the defendant committed the crime. The defense attorney represents the accused. In jury trials, the jury decides whether the evidence proves that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the judge decides on a sentence. In a bench trial, the judge decides both on guilt and sentence.
- Under 18Direct link to this item
A person who is younger than 18 years of age.
- UnknownDirect link to this item
Information about belonging to any of the groups within this filter was missing or unreliable in the raw data.
- Urban AreaDirect link to this item
The Census Bureau defines urban areas as those comprising densely developed territory, encompassing residential, commercial, and other non-residential urban land uses. To be classified as an urban area, the territory must have at least 2,500 residents, with at least 1,500 residing outside institutional group quarters. (U.S. Department of Commerce (2011). Federal Register 76(164) Part II:53030.. Archived here. )
- VerdictDirect link to this item
The findings or conclusions by the jury (in jury trials) or the judge (in bench trials) on the factual issues presented by a case.
- Violent CaseDirect link to this item
Cases in which the defendant is accused of using or threatening to use force against the victim.
- Violent FeloniesDirect link to this item
Serious offenses in which the defendant is accused of using or threatening to use force against the victim.
- Violent MisdemeanorsDirect link to this item
Minor offenses in which the defendant is accused of using or threatening to use force against the victim.
- WaiverDirect link to this item
A waiver is when a party in the case, usually the defendant, voluntarily forgoes or relinquishes a right (e.g., right to a speedy trial).
- WarrantDirect link to this item
An order by a judge or a magistrate, issued after a determination of probable cause, commanding law enforcement to arrest an individual, search somebody's property, or seize some piece of property.
- WhiteDirect link to this item
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
- With or Without PrejudiceDirect link to this item
When a case is dismissed with prejudice, it is permanently dismissed and charges cannot be refiled. A case dismissed without prejudice can be refiled at a later date.
- WithdrawDirect link to this item
Prosecutors can withdraw or drop charges after they have been filed in court for any number of reasons, including lack of sufficient evidence. This is also known as dismissal by prosecutor or Nolle Prosequi.
- Within GroupDirect link to this item
Percentages that are calculated within a pool of cases that have already been filtered, e.g., of all cases sent to the prosecutor involving a Black defendant, X% of those cases were prosecuted. This is why when you compare percentages for different groups, they won't add up to 100%.