Part 1 Victims’ Bill of Rights
Part 2 Victim Impact Statement Act
Part 3 Constitutional Rights of Victims
Part 4 Senator Tommy Burks Victim Assistance Academy
Part 5 Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification System

Terms Used In Tennessee Code > Title 40 > Chapter 38

  • amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Crime: means :

    (A) Any offense the punishment for which is a Class A, B, C, D or E felony. See

  • damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • 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.
  • grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • habeas corpus: A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
  • 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.
  • jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Minor: means any person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • plea agreement: An arrangement between the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for special considerations. Source:
  • presentence report: A report prepared by a court's probation officer, after a person has been convicted of an offense, summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. Source: U.S. Courts
  • probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Representative: when applied to those who represent a decedent, includes executors and administrators, unless the context implies heirs and distributees. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Victim: means an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as the result of the commission of a crime, or an immediate family member of a minor victim or a homicide victim. See
  • Victim: means :

    (i) A natural person against whom a crime was committed. See

  • victim advocate: work with prosecutors and assist the victims of a crime.
  • Victim impact statement: means a statement providing information about the financial, emotional, and physical effects of the crime on the victim and the victim's family, and specific information about the victim, the circumstances surrounding the crime, and the manner in which it was perpetrated. See
  • victim impact statement: A written or spoken statement by the victim or his or her representative about the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a crime on the victim. The statement is given to the court before sentencing.
  • Victim representative: means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or other relative of a deceased or incapacitated victim or of a victim who is under eighteen (18) years of age, or a person who has had a close personal relationship with the victim and who is designated by the court to be a victim representative. See
  • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105