Legalese can seem like another language to anyone but lawyers. If you’re facing criminal charges, though, educating yourself on the meanings of some common legal terms can help you feel more confident about your case. We pulled together a list of legal terms in Georgia to help you make more sense of your case and the proceedings you might go through.
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If you’re wondering about a term below, please feel free to schedule a Free Case Evaluation through the online form at the bottom of this page.
Accessory – Someone who assists another person in committing a crime, including before and after the crime is committed.
Accomplice – Someone who assists another person in committing a crime while that crime is taking place.
Affidavit –A formal statement given while under oath either in person or in writing.
Alibi – An explanation used in a criminal defense that explains the accused could not have committed the crime because they were verifiably somewhere else at the time.
Bail –A pretrial release from prison for someone facing charges where the accused posts money, or bond, to guarantee they’ll appear in court. This term is also used to describe the amount of money required to be released from prison.
Booking – The process of recording identifying information like images and fingerprints of someone after they’ve been arrested.
Burden of proof – The prosecution’s or plaintiff’s responsibility to prove the facts of a case.
Community service –Frequently a component of probation, this is a requirement for a convicted person to provide free labor for local organizations as part of their sentence.
Discovery (or disclosure) – a legal procedure where opposing sides share facts and information about a case.
Dismissal – The closure of legal proceedings due to procedural reasons.
Diversion–Rehabilitation, counseling, therapy, or restitution programs that allow people to avoid going to trial for minor crimes or juvenile court.