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Definitions
Acquittal
A discharge or release which takes place when the judge or jury, upon trial finds a verdict of not guilty.

Arraignment
A hearing at which the defendant is formally notified of the charges against him and at which time a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest is entered. If a not guilty plea is entered, the case is given a trial date. In Family Court juvenile cases, the juvenile is advised formally of the law violation charges against him or her, is advised of his or her constitutional rights and given the opportunity to enter a plea. If the juvenile pleads innocent, the case is set for an adjudication hearing (i.e. trial).

Adjudication hearing
In Family Court juvenile cases, similar to a trial for adults; determines whether or not the juvenile committed the offense.

Bail
An amount of money set by the police or court which must be posted or pledged before an accused may be released from jail, to assure the person's presence in court.

Bench Warrant
A written court order directing the police or the sheriff to arrest a person who has failed to appear at court, failed to follow a court order, or has been indicted by the Grand Jury for a crime.

Contempt
Willful disobedience to or open disrespect for a court or judge.

Defendant
A person arrested and charged with committing a crime.

Deferred Acceptance
Deferred Acceptance of Guilty Plea (DAG) or Deferred Acceptance of No Contest Plea (DANC) - A pretrial procedure under which acceptance of a plea of guilty or no contest may be postponed and the defendant eventually discharged without a judgment of guilty, upon successful completion of terms and conditions set by the court.

Disposition
In Family Court juvenile cases, similar to a sentence in adult court. The court determines the consequences of a juvenile who has been adjudicated for or who has admitted to the commission of an offense.

Felony
A serious crime, as opposed to a misdemeanor, the distinction is often made in terms of the applicable punishment, felonies being punishable by more than one year in jail.

Grand Jury
A jury of men and women made up of sixteen people who determine if there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime.

Indictment
A Grand Jury's formal accusation in writing. 

Informal Adjustments
A non-judicial, administrative disposition of a referral, where the juvenile and parents agree to certain terms, without a court hearing.

Juvenile Counselors
Located physically within the Maui Police Department, Juvenile Section, these social workers are available Monday through Friday during regular working hours to provide immediate counseling to the juvenile offender.

Misdemeanor
A crime which is less serious than a felony but more serious than a petty misdemeanor, with a punishment of no more than one year in jail.

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases
These cases are generally heard in Family Court.
 
No Contest or "Nolo Contendere"
A Latin phrase meaning "I will not contest it",; a plea which has similar legal effect as pleading guilty. A defendant may pleas nolo contendere only with consent of the court. The principal difference between a plea of guilty and a plea of nolo contendere is that the latter may not be used against the defendant in a civil action based on the same acts.

Penal Summons
An official complaint with court date set.

Petition
A legal document filed in Family Court juvenile cases alleging an offense (law violation of status offense) committed by a juvenile

Plea
A defendant's answer to a charge filed against him (guilty, not guilty, no contest), or a juvenile's formal answer to a petition (admits or denies).

Preliminary Hearing
A proceeding in which the judge determines to whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime.

Probable Cause
A reasonable belief which supports that a defendant did actually commit the crime.

Prosecutor
A lawyer who represents the State in criminal proceedings responsible for bringing the accused to justice.

Released
After arrest, the defendant may be released with no charge, or released pending investigation.

Second Chance Program
A series of 4, one-hour presentations by the Maui Police Department for parents and juveniles who voluntarily agree to participate. Subjects covered are juvenile laws, anti-gang, anti-drug, and anti-domestic violence.

Sentencing
After a defendant pleads guilty to a crime, or is found guilty of a crime after a trial, sentencing is the time when the court decides what punishment to give to the defendant.

Status Offender
A person under 18 years of age, who commits the act of truancy, runaway or incorrigibility.

Trial
A proceeding at which evidence is presented to a judge or jury who then decides whether the defendant committed the crimes charged.

Verdict
The formal decision made by a judge or jury.

Waiver of Jurisdiction
The judicial process through which the Family Court may transfer the juvenile to the jurisdiction of the adult criminal court. If jurisdiction is waived, the juvenile will be tried as an adult in the adult criminal court.

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