Missouri Laws > Chapter 557 – General Sentencing Provisions
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Terms Used In Missouri Laws > Chapter 557 - General Sentencing Provisions
- Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
- Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- person: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
- Property: includes real and personal property. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
- State: when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
- Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
- Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
- Voir dire: The process by which judges and lawyers select a petit jury from among those eligible to serve, by questioning them to determine knowledge of the facts of the case and a willingness to decide the case only on the evidence presented in court. "Voir dire" is a phrase meaning "to speak the truth."