Adjournment: Case rescheduled for another date and time.
Appeal: A request for the Superior Court to review and reverse a court’s decision.
Arraignment/First Appearance: Reading of the complaint to the defendant in open court or stating the substance of the charge, and advising the defendant of certain rights and possible penalties.
Attorney/Lawyer: A person trained in the law who represents clients in legal matters.
Bail/Bond: Money or other security provided to the court to temporarily allow a person’s release from custody and assure they appear in court for each appearance until the case is decided.
Bail Forfeiture: The bail is lost if the defendant fails to appear in court for each appearance.
Bench Warrant: A warrant issued by the court (from the bench) for the arrest of a person for failure to appear or failure to comply with a court order.
Calendar: List of cases scheduled for hearing in court.
Certified Disposition: A written certified copy of the judge’s decision in a case.
Commit: To send a person to jail.
Community Service: Work performed for a municipality or nonprofit organization for a certain period of time without pay. By law, the Judge must order community service for certain traffic offenses and may order community service for criminal convictions.
Complaint: A formal written charge stating a person has committed a criminal offense.
Concurrent Sentence: Sentence for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time.
Conditional Discharge: To release the charges against a person subject to a condition.
Consecutive Sentence: Sentence for two or more crimes to run one after another.
Contempt of Court: Willful disobedience of a judge’s command or an official court order.
Court Administrator: A person appointed by the court to oversee the administrative, non-judicial activities of the court.
Discovery: The pretrial process by which one party discovers the evidence that will be relied upon in the trial of the opposing party.
Expungement: An official and formal erasure of a record or partial contents of a record.
Failure to Appear (FTA): The failure of any party to appear in court in response to a complaint/notice issued.
Fine: To sentence a person convicted of an offense to pay a penalty in money. In criminal convictions, it may be in addition to imprisonment or a condition of probation
Incarcerate: To be jailed or held in a correctional facility.
Indictable Offense: A serious criminal offense referred to the County Prosecutor for a determination if the case should be presented to the Grand Jury and heard in Superior Court.
Indigent: Needy or Impoverished.
Judge: An appointed public official with authority to hear and decides cases in court.
Jurisdiction: The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
Letter of representation: Letter from attorney stating he/she will represent the defendant in court.
Missed court dates: The “notice to appear” date on a payable ticket is considered the first court date. If not paid by that date a failure to appear notice will be issued with an additional cost. The date on this notice is considered as the second court date.
Municipal Court: A court having jurisdiction over cases arising within the municipality in which it sits.
Plea: The defendant’s declaration in open court that he/she is guilty or not guilty.
Plea Bargaining: The process through which an accused person and the prosecutor negotiate a mutually satisfactory disposition of a case. Such bargains are not binding on the court.
Pro Se: Refers to persons who present their own cases without lawyers.
Probable Cause: A reasonable belief that a crime has been committed.
Probation: An alternative to imprisonment allowing a person found guilty or pleading guilty to an offense to stay in the community, usually under conditions and under the supervision of a probation officer. Violation of probation can lead to its revocation and to imprisonment.
Prosecutor: A trial lawyer representing the government in a criminal case and the interests of the state in civil matters. The prosecutor in our court is Kevin S. Quinlan, Esquire.
Public Defender: An attorney may be appointed by the court if you meet the requirements after completing a Financial Questionnaire to Establish Indigency form and approved by Judge Sicheri. There may be an application fee of up to $200.00. Only those cases that have a possibility of jail time, driver’s license suspension and substantial fines are eligible for a public defender. The public defender for our court is Brian Rumpf, Esquire.
ROR: Release of a person from custody without the payment of any bail/bond with the promise to appear in court.
Sentence: The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.
Statute: A law written by the Legislature.
Stay: A court order halting a judicial proceeding.
Summons: A notice to a defendant that he/she has been charged with a crime and is required to appear in court.
Surety: One who posts bail.
Waiver: Intentionally giving up a right
Warrant: A court order authorizing law enforcement officers to make an arrest.