ED BRODSKY. State Attorney. Twelfth Judicial Circuit VICTIMS RIGHTS. A Guide To the Criminal Justice System: Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities

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1 ED BRODSKY State Attorney Twelfth Judicial Circuit VICTIMS RIGHTS A Guide To the Criminal Justice System: Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities State Attorney s Office Locations Sarasota County DeSoto County 2071 Ringling Blvd 115 East Oak St, 3rd Floor Sarasota, Florida Arcadia, Florida (941) (863) RL Anderson Bldg Manatee County 4000 South Tamiami Trail 1112 Manatee Ave West Venice, Florida Bradenton, Florida (941) (941)

2 A LETTER FROM STATE ATTORNEY ED BRODSKY As the victim of a crime, your participation and cooperation is essential for the successful prosecution of your case Florida law guarantees your right to be informed, present and heard, when relevant, at all crucial court proceedings This brochure is intended to aid you in understanding your rights as a crime victim, along with providing you useful information about the various steps your case will take in court You will also find information on some of our community resources available to assist you The Office of the State Attorney, Twelfth Judicial Circuit, is here to assist you as your case progresses through the criminal justice system We remain committed to seeking justice on behalf of victims of crime and stand ready to assist you with information, empathy and understanding Sincerely, Ed Brodsky State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit i

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS VICTIMS RIGHTS 1 VICTIM S ROLE 3 STAGES IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM 3 FIRST APPEARANCE 3 FILING OF CRIMINAL CHARGES 4 VICTIM IMPACT & RESTITUTION STATEMENT 4 VICTIM COMPENSATION 4 ARRAIGNMENT 6 DEPOSITIONS 6 PRE-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS 7 TRIAL PROCEDURES 8 SENTENCING 9 RESTITUTION 9 JUVENILE COURT PROCEEDINGS 9 TESTIFYING 11 COURT ATTIRE 11 PROPERTY RETURN 11 CHILD CARE 11 TRANSPORTATION/PARKING 12 OFFENDER RELEASE NOTIFICATION 12 OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM 13 COMMON QUESTIONS 13 GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS 14 AGENCY ADDRESSES 18 SUPPORT AGENCIES/HOTLINES 19 ADDRESS INFO FOR RESTITUTION 22 INDEX 25 ii

4 1 VICTIMS RIGHTS AS THE VICTIM, THE VICTIM S PARENT OR GUARDIAN (if the victim is a minor), THE LAWFUL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ABOVE, and THE NEXT OF KIN OF A HOMICIDE VICTIM - YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO: 1 Be informed, be present and be heard, when relevant, at all crucial stages of the criminal and juvenile justice proceedings Incarcerated victims have the right to be informed and to submit written statements 2 Be informed of what you may expect from the criminal or juvenile justice process as well as what the system expects from you 3 Be consulted by the prosecutor in regard to: release of the accused pending judicial proceedings, plea agreements, pre-trial diversion programs, and sentencing 4 Information on steps that are available to law enforcement officers and the State Attorney for protection from intimidation 5 Submit an oral or written impact statement to the Court outlining how the crime has affected you and your opinion concerning sentencing 6 Request and receive restitution from the offender, or, in the event of non-compliance, information regarding enforcement of the restitution order 7 Be informed of the Victim Compensation Fund, when applicable 8 Be advised of victim services within your community 9 A prompt return of property unless there is a compelling law enforcement need to retain it 10 Receive information about defendant s release from incarceration (unless waived) in certain types of violent crimes 11 Be advised of any escape of an offender by a reasonable attempt of the State Attorney, if so notified, and with the help of the Sheriff s office upon request The sheriff of the county of origin of the charge/petition for delinquency shall also be notified A VINE program for notification is explained on page Request, in certain types of violent crimes, that your home and/or employment address, phone number, or personal assets be withheld from public view 13 A prompt and timely disposition of the case to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused 14 Review certain portions of any pre-sentence investigation report for adult and youthful offenders

5 completed prior to the sentencing of the accused Confidentiality of the contents must be maintained 15 Have standing to assert, or request of the State Attorney to assert, your rights as provided by law or in the State Constitution 16 Assistance from law enforcement and the State Attorney s Office in explaining to employer and/or creditor circumstances created by victimization 17 Be notified of any change which would affect your prescheduled appearance in a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding 18 Request the courtroom be cleared, with certain exceptions, during any victim s testimony of a sexual offense 19 Receive information about the Address Confidentiality Program available to victims of domestic violence administered through the Office of the Attorney General 20 Receive information regarding a request to the Court for an order for HIV testing in any case which involves the transmission of body fluids from one person to another However, in some circumstances, a request for HIV testing may be made, regardless of whether transmission of bodily fluids is involved, should the victim be under the age of 18 or is a disabled or elderly adult 21 The right of a victim or the victim s legal guardian, or the parent or legal guardian of a victim, if the victim is a minor, to request that a person who is charged with any offense enumerated in section (1)(a)-(n), Florida Statutes, that involves the transmission of body fluids from one person to another, undergo hepatitis and HIV testing 22 Advance notification, unless the agency had none, of judicial/post-judicial proceedings or hearings with the right to be present, including those relating to the arrest and the release of the defendant from either prison, detention, residential commitment, community work release or control, by either expiration of sentence or parole 23 The right of a victim of a sexual offense to request the presence of a victim advocate during the forensic medical examination An advocate from a certified rape crisis center shall be permitted to attend any forensic medical examination 24 No law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney or government official shall ask or require a victim of a sexual offense to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth telling device as a condition of the investigation 2

6 VICTIM S ROLE IN THE CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS Your participation and cooperation are essential to the successful prosecution of the case You may be required to be present at various court proceedings and will be expected to provide truthful testimony It is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep the State Attorney s Office informed of your current address and both work and residence telephone numbers STAGES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Crime Committed * Law Enforcement Investigation * Suspect Charged or Arrested * First Appearance (if arrested) * Arraignment * Pre-Trial Proceedings * Plea or Trial * Pre-Sentence Investigation (if relevant) * Sentencing FIRST APPEARANCE If a defendant is arrested and unable to post bond, he or she is entitled to appear before a judge within 24 hours At First Appearance, the defendant is informed of the charges for which he/she was arrested and is advised of his/her rights The Judge reviews the law enforcement reports and may raise or lower the amount of the bond, or may release the defendant on his or her own recognizance 3

7 FILING OF CRIMINAL CHARGES When the State Attorney s Office receives a formal complaint from a law enforcement agency, an assistant state attorney, assigned to the case, will review the reports and may interview witnesses It is important to cooperate with this office to ensure that all the information about the crime is provided This review of the case will determine if there is sufficient evidence to pursue criminal prosecution, and if so, the attorney will file the formal charging document, called an Information with the court You will be notified by letter of this decision If there is not sufficient evidence to file criminal charges, the attorney will generate a document indicating no charges will be filed If an Information is filed and the defendant has not yet been arrested, an order (a summons) for the defendant to appear in court or an order (a capias or a warrant) for the arrest of the defendant will be issued VICTIM IMPACT/RESTITUTION STATEMENT The Office of the State Attorney provides each victim with a Victim Impact/Restitution Statement for completion This form affords the opportunity to provide information concerning the effect of the crime, the financial losses incurred and your recommendation for a sentence in this case Please complete the statement promptly as requested and return it to the State Attorney s Office It is important that you document all financial losses claimed by providing COPIES of medical bills, damage estimates, proof of fair market value, or receipts for lost property VICTIM COMPENSATION The Bureau of Victim Compensation was established by the State of Florida to financially aid innocent victims/survivors of violent crime (including DUI and Hit & Run charges) Victim Compensation is a 4

8 Payer of Last Resort that provides benefits, within limits and in the event the crime has produced a financial hardship, for medical expenses, funeral costs, counseling, loss of support and lost wages Loss of property is not covered except in a limited amount for an elderly or disabled adult who suffered a property loss as a result of a crime which substantially limits normal daily living activities and there is no other source of reimbursement YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE IF YOU ARE an adult victim or intervenor who has been physically injured as a result of a crime a victim or intervenor who has suffered psychiatric or psychological injury as a result of a forcible felony a surviving spouse, parent or guardian, sibling, child or principal dependant of a deceased victim the parent or guardian of a minor or incompetent victim that has been injured as a result of a crime the parent or guardian of a child witness (16 or under) who was present at the scene of a violent crime and suffered psychological injury an elderly or disabled adult who lost property as a result of a crime a victim of domestic violence in need of relocation assistance AND IF the crime was reported to law enforcement within 72 hours the application was filed within one year after the crime (with some exceptions) the victim has fully cooperated with law enforcement, the State Attorney s Office and the Office of the Attorney General the victim was not engaged in an unlawful activity, adjudicated guilty of a forcible felony or as a habitual offender the victim did not contribute to the circumstances that caused the crime injury or death The Office of the State Attorney can provide an application for Victim Compensation Information 5

9 and applications are also available by calling the Bureau of Victim Compensation at or on their website: ARRAIGNMENT As the victim, you have the right to be present at arraignment However, your presence is not required At arraignment, the defendant will be formally advised of the charges filed by the State The defendant is also informed of the right to an attorney If the accused indicates an inability to afford an attorney but wishes to be represented, the judge may appoint an attorney from the Public Defender s Office to the case At felony arraignment, the defendant may not necessarily appear if the proper legal documents have been filed Due to the serious nature of felony charges, a judge rarely accepts a guilty or no contest plea at arraignment Therefore, other pre-trial proceedings will be scheduled At misdemeanor arraignment, the judge will, quite frequently, accept a plea of guilty or no contest Should the defendant enter such a plea and the judge be in a position to impose a sentence immediately, the victim, having made his/her presence known, will then be given an opportunity to address the court regarding restitution and sentencing If the defendant requests a trial, a trial date will be set at some future pre-trial proceeding and the victim will be notified of the date DEPOSITIONS A deposition is an interview or testimony taken under oath of any or all witnesses in a case by the defendant s attorney after formal charges have been filed In most cases, an assistant state attorney will also be present during the deposition which may be recorded by either a court reporter or by a tape recorder which will later be produced into a written transcript The defendant is not present during the deposition which is taken outside the courtroom, usually in a private office Victims and witnesses who 6

10 are not incarcerated shall not be required to attend a deposition in any correctional facility The defense attorney may elect to subpoena you for a certain date, time and place and, if you fail to appear you may be held in contempt of court and the case may be continued It is important to be prepared for your deposition and essential that you provide truthful testimony to the defense attorney The statements you make during your deposition may be used against you if you testify differently in court Attending a deposition for the first time may create anxiety You have the right to be accompanied by a victim advocate if you so choose Any questions or concerns you have may be addressed to the assistant state attorney prosecuting the case 7 PRE-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE MANAGEMENT, PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCES, PLEA HEARINGS, MOTION HEARINGS, and DOCKET SOUNDING are all types of pre-trial proceedings CASE MANAGEMENT in Felony Court is a calendared date when the prosecutor, defense attorney and the judge select a trial date for a case Generally, details of the case are not discussed other than the trial period in which the case is to be tried However, there are times at Case Management when, should the defendant desire to waive his right to a trial, the judge may accept a PLEA and enter a sentence Other times, should the defendant wish to enter a PLEA, a future date will be secured on the judge s calendar and, in this event, every effort will be made by the State Attorney s Office to notify the victim DOCKET SOUNDING is the last effort of the judge and the attorneys involved to schedule specific days and times for trials just prior to the beginning of the trial docket All victims and witnesses will receive a subpoena for a time certain when scheduled PRE-TRIAL hearings and DOCKET SOUNDING in misdemeanor court are similar to Case Management

11 and Docket Sounding in felony court with the exception that, generally, the judge will accept a defendant s plea of No Contest or Guilty at any of these times When no such plea is presented, a trial date is set and victims and witnesses are usually notified by subpoena The victim has the right to attend any of these public hearings However, your presence is not necessary nor required, unless subpoenaed or specifically requested by the attorney prosecuting the case Please contact the assistant state attorney with any questions in regard to your attendance TRIAL PROCEDURE A jury is selected by the state and defense attorneys and seated as the first item of procedure The trial begins with an opening statement from the assistant state attorney, hereinafter called prosecutor and the defense attorney The opening statement outlines the facts that each party expects to establish during the trial The prosecutor presents the state s case first by calling and questioning witnesses on direct examination After direct examination of each witness, the defendant s attorney is permitted to question the witness by cross examination After the state s presentation, the defense is entitled to present its case by direct examination followed by cross examination of each witness by the prosecutor Finally, each attorney presents a closing argument which offers a summation of the facts presented during the trial The judge then instructs the jury on the law, defines the issues and instructs the jury to reach a fair verdict based on the evidence The jury s deliberations are in private and, in order to convict, their verdict must be unanimous Again, victims and witnesses have the right to be present in the courtroom and may not be excluded during any court hearing or trial unless, upon motion, their presence is determined to be prejudicial by the Judge This option should be discussed with the prosecutor in the case 8

12 SENTENCING Statewide sentencing guidelines became effective on October 1, 1983 These guidelines provide a range of recommended sentences for all felony cases The court must sentence according to these guidelines unless the court states a clear and convincing reason why it chooses to sentence outside the guidelines The sentencing of misdemeanor offenses remains the discretion of the trial judge The trial judge in misdemeanor matters may impose any sentence up to the maximum allowed by state law As a victim, you have the right to be present at the sentencing of the defendant Please advise the prosecutor of your desire to be present so you will be notified At said hearing, you may address the court to state your feelings concerning the impact of this crime on your life, necessary restitution and desired sentencing Should you choose not to make an oral statement, you may submit a written statement to the prosecutor prior to sentencing to be read into the record RESTITUTION At sentencing, the court may order a defendant to pay restitution for the damage or loss caused by a crime If the defendant is sentenced to jail or prison, the restitution may not be paid until after the defendant s release if the incarceration is followed by probation If ordered as a condition of probation or community control, the appropriate probation officer will supervise the payment of restitution Therefore, your obligation is to keep current your address with the proper agency See page 25 for information If the sentence is solely incarceration, the judge may order restitution as a civil judgement Information on enforcing said civil lien or judgement may be obtained from the office of the Clerk of Court or that office s website at wwwclerkcosarasotaflus JUVENILE JUSTICE COURT PROCEEDINGS If the accused is a juvenile and is immediately arrested, the release procedure is somewhat different from adult court Juveniles charged with 9

13 misdemeanors and many other nonviolent crimes are frequently immediately released to the custody of their parents or other custodians Juveniles who are charged with more serious offenses and are not released will attend a detention hearing within 24 hours At the detention hearing it will be determined if the juvenile is to remain in secure detention or is to be released to a home detention Detention hearings are conducted seven days a week Victims are not required to attend these hearings but may do so if they wish (except on weekends) Arraignment and trial are very similar to adult court However, the sentencing phase in Juvenile Court is called a disposition The court will request a predispositional report from the Department of Juvenile Justice which makes recommendations for either community control (similar to adult probation) or commitment to a juvenile program or facility This report may contain statements regarding restitution and the juvenile s ability to pay You, the victim, may also be contacted so your input may be made a part of the report If the victim or the sibling of the victim attends or is eligible to attend the same school as that of the offender, the parent or legal guardian of the victim has the right to attend the sentencing or disposition of the offender and request that the offender be required to attend a different school The Juvenile Division of the State Attorney s Office will inform you of all crucial court dates Juvenile records are confidential in Florida which may prohibit you, however, from receiving all the information you request on the case and from revealing information regarding any case heard in juvenile court to any outside party except as is reasonably necessary in pursuit of legal remedies The order and amount of restitution is solely a decision of the judge If restitution amounts are provided and the Court fails to order the defendant to pay, the judge must state for the record, why the payment of restitution is not so ordered 10

14 TESTIFYING Do not try to memorize what you are going to say before you go into court, but rather, try to picture the scene in your mind Review your deposition and any other documents or records in your possession so you can recall more accurately the information when you testify about what you know Take your time Give the question some thought and formulate your answer Answer the question asked - do not volunteer information that has not been asked If you do not understand the question, ask for an explanation Do not give your personal opinion or conclusion unless specifically asked to do so Give only the facts as you know them Do not guess Try to remain calm, confident and in control RELAX You have no need to be nervous COURT ATTIRE Be neat in appearance Dress or Sunday clothes are recommended Shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, and swimming attire are not allowed Chewing gum and caps/hats are prohibited in the courtroom PROPERTY RETURN If property was stolen as part of the crime, it becomes important as evidence in the case It is helpful for the jury to actually see the property at trial Thus, the state often prefers to keep the property until trial to make sure nothing happens to the evidence Should this be the case, the property remains in the same condition as it was at the time of the crime If you need the property before the trial has been completed, please advise the assistant state attorney so that, if possible, an effort can be made to return the property to you in an expedient manner CHILD CARE Unfortunately, child care facilities are not available Proceedings are unpredictable; therefore, it is 11

15 recommended that you find someone to care for your child/children TRANSPORTATION and PARKING If you have difficulty with transportation to necessary court proceedings or if you have any questions regarding parking, please call the assistant state attorney OFFENDER RELEASE NOTIFICATION You have the right to be informed of the defendant s release from incarceration or commitment and be notified of any approved work release program In order to receive this information, it is essential that you keep the correct agency informed of your most current address and telephone number Please provide this information to the proper correctional facility If the defendant is in jail in: DeSoto County - (863) Sarasota County - (941) Manatee County - (941) ext 2901 If the defendant is in prison: (1) You may call the Department of Corrections Victim Assistance Office: 1-(877) (2) Consult Website: wwwdcstateflus (3) Register with the VINE Offender Information Program: VINE-4-FL ( ) The VINE program provides both information about custody, status and sentence expiration and provides automatic notification to the victim, if registered, of changes in custody status such as transfer, escape or release of prison inmates To register, call the above number, provide a telephone number where you may be reached and a four digit PIN code of your choosing To change/update your address for prison inmates: (This is for information for both the VINE program and the Department of Corrections Victim Assistance Program) Provide the corrected/updated address in writing to: Florida Department of Corrections Victim Assistance Office 12

16 2601 Blairstone Road Tallahassee, Florida Remember to include the inmate s name and inmate number or some detailed information to help identify the inmate such as middle initial, date of birth, county of incident with date of sentence, etc OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM The State of Florida s Address Confidentiality Program assists victims of domestic violence who are attempting escape from actual or threatened violence through relocation The participants are provided with an address designated by the Office of the Attorney General as a substitute mailing address in order to prevent their assailants from finding them Through use of the substitute mailing address, program participants receive cost-free, security mail forwarding The Attorney General serves as each client s legal agent for receipt of mail and service of process Victims who have left an abusive situation may apply Please contact for further information (Office of the Attorney General) COMMON QUESTIONS Q What if I change my mind about prosecuting or do not want to testify? A The assistant state attorney assigned the case will discuss any problems, doubts, or concerns there may be about your testimony If you should decide that you do not want to continue with the prosecution of the case, you may be asked to sign a statement indicating your reasons for withdrawing the charges The attorney prosecuting the case may decide to continue with the prosecution of the case and you may receive a subpoena to appear in court and testify Q What if someone tries to influence me to drop the charges or to refuse to testify by threats of any kind? A If anyone has made threats to you about the case, either in or out of court, that person may have committed a crime If this happens to you, immediately contact your local law enforcement agency to report the threat and the assistant state attorney handling the pending case 13

17 GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS Acquittal: In a criminal case, a verdict by a jury or judge that the defendant is not guilty of the offense Adjudication: The formal decision of the court in a given case as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant Affiant: A person who makes an affidavit Affidavit: A written statement which the affiant swears to be true Allegation: The statement of the issue, which must be proven Appeal: Review by a higher court of a lower court s decision Arraignment: An appearance before a court of law for the purpose of pleading to a criminal charge Bail: A monetary or other form of security given to insure the appearance of the defendant at every stage of the proceedings Bench Warrant: An order for arrest issued by a judge to answer a charge of contempt or failure to appear Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The degree of proof needed for a jury or a judge to legally find a defendant guilty Capias: A writ from a judge to law enforcement, commanding them to take a defendant into custody Community Control: A program in which the freedom of the offender is restricted within the community to his/her home, work, or a noninstitutional residential placement Specified sanctions are imposed and enforced as part of the program by a community control officer Continuance: A delay or postponement of a court hearing or trial 14

18 Criminal Justice System: The governmental agencies charged with enforcement, prosecution of alleged violators of the criminal laws, the court hearing of charges against the accused, and the punishment and supervision of the convicted Defendant: A person who has been formally charged with the commission of a crime Deposition: The recorded sworn testimony of a witness given outside open court Discovery: A procedure by which one party gains information or evidence held by another party Disposition: The final settlement of a criminal case Felony: A serious crime for which the person may be imprisoned for more than one year Habeas Corpus: A procedure for obtaining a judicial determination of the legality of an individual s custody Hearsay Evidence: Statements made by a witness, based upon what someone else told him/her, and not upon personal knowledge or observation which are normally inadmissible as evidence but this is subject to exceptions Indictment: A formal written accusation made by a grand jury and filed with the court alleging that a specific person has committed a specific crime Minor: A person under the age of 18 Misdemeanor: A crime for which the punishment may be a fine and/or imprisonment in a local jail or facility for less than one year Motion: An application to a court of law for the purpose of obtaining some particular order or ruling Nolo Contendere (No Contest): I will not contest it A plea to a criminal charge that, although it is not an admission of guilt, generally has the same effect as a plea of guilty 15

19 Not Guilty: A verdict by a judge or jury that a person accused of a crime did not commit it or that there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime Nolle Prosequi (Nol Pross): A decision by the prosecuting attorney, filed with the court, that a case will not be further prosecuted Parole: The conditional release from prison of a person who has served a part of his/her sentence before the end of the sentence with requirements for the offender s behavior set and supervised by a parole agency Perjury: The crime of lying under oath Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI): A document prepared by the Department of Corrections to assist the court in determining an appropriate sentence The document details the past behavior, prior criminal history and convictions, family circumstances and personality of the offender and gives information about the crime committed Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI): A diversionary program with probationary sanctions including restitution A program for first-time offenders of non-violent crimes which must have the approval of the state attorney and the victim of the crime It basically functions as pretrial probation If the offender successfully completes the program, the charges are dropped If the offender does not fulfill the terms of the program, the charges are reactivated and full prosecution through the court will be pursued Probable Cause: The degree of proof needed to arrest and begin prosecution against a person suspected of committing a crime; the evidence must be such that a reasonable person would believe that this specific crime was committed and that it is probable that the person being accused committed the offense Probation: Conditional freedom granted to an offender by the court after conviction or guilty plea with requirements for the offender s behavior set and supervised by the court through the Department of Corrections or other agency authorized to supervise 16

20 said defendants Reasonable Doubt: Refers to the degree of certainty required for a juror to legally find a criminal defendant guilty It is not a possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt Release On Own Recognizance (ROR): The release of an accused person by a judicial officer in lieu of bail upon the promise of the accused that he/she will return to court when ordered to do so Rights of The Defendant: The powers and privileges which are constitutionally guaranteed to any person arrested or accused of committing a crime, such as: the right to remain silent; the right to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings; the right to a court appointed attorney if the defendant does not have the financial means to hire his/her own counsel; the right to release on reasonable bail; the right to a speedy public trial before a judge or jury; the right to the process of the court to subpoena and produce witnesses; the right to see, hear and question the witnesses during the trial; and the right to refuse to incriminate oneself Sentencing: The legal process in which a defendant who has been found guilty of a crime hears in court what punishment will be imposed against him Subpoena: A judicial order to appear at a certain place and time to give testimony Summons: A written order by a judge requiring a defendant to appear in court at a specific time and place to answer the charge Suspended Sentence: A court decision to postpone the pronouncing of sentence on a convicted person or to postpone the execution of sentence that has been pronounced by the court Testimony: Evidence given by a witness who has been sworn to tell the truth Trial: An examination of issues of fact and law before a judge and sometimes a jury at which time the evidence 17

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