arrest warrant- A judicial order to law enforcement to arrest a specific person. This person will be then formally charged with a crime.
entrapment- The unethical acts of law enforcement inducing or encouraging a person to commit a crime that the person would not have been predisposed to have committed. A court will usually look to whether the idea for the commission of the criminal act originated with the defendant or with law enforcement. Entrapment is a complete defense to the crime charged.
false arrest- The unlawful detaining of someone by law enforcement without legal cause. Legal cause is that determination by law enforcement that there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The act of false arrest by law enforcement is rarely the basis of a lawsuit.
fresh pursuit- The present and immediate pursuit by law enforcement of a fleeing suspect.
ordinance- A local statute legislated by a city or municipality. Most ordinances are infractions.
polygraph- More commonly known as a lie detector, it is a device designed to measure physiological responses resulting from specific questions being asked of the subject. The theory being that when one lies the body reacts by increasing breath and heart rate. While polygraphs are not allowed as evidence of guilt or innocence in a court of law, law enforcement and prosecutors have been known to rely on them heavily in determining whether to pursue a defendant.
protective custody- The placing of a person in government control so as to protect that person from threats of danger. Protective custody is sometimes used to help a child who has been threatened or abused by his parents.
public benefits - Public assistance programs of the federal or state governments.public defenderThe public official regularly assigned by the courts to defend people accused of crimes who cannot afford a private attorney.
resisting arrest- Once arrested, legally or not, one must comply with the arrest and be taken into custody. The physical resistance to an arrest is a crime even if the arrest was not supported by probable cause or was the result of mistaken identity.
statute- A law enacted by a state legislature or by Congress.
statute of limitations- A law prescribing time limitations on the right to bring a lawsuit.
stop and frisk- The lawful search for a concealed weapon by patting down a person who is suspected of a crime. The objective is to protect the officer from concealed weapons. Outside of a "pat down," any further search by law enforcement requires a warrant or sufficient probable cause.
surrender- The act of giving oneself over to law enforcement. A surrender is usually arranged by the defendants attorney.
three strikes- Many states have enacted laws which make life terms mandatory for offenders who have been convicted of three or more dangerous felonies. The societal goal behind "three strike laws" is to stamp out the presence of violent repeat offenders.
arrest- The act of taking custody of a suspect by a law enforcement officer. An arrest may be made by warrant issued by a court pursuant to probable cause that a crime was committed, or upon probable cause by a peace officer on information and belief that a crime is or was just committed.
post mortem- It usually refers to the physical condition of a person after death. In criminal investigations the medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine not only the cause of death, but the time and likely conditions surrounding the death.
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