Key Terms: F - J

  • Felony - An offense that is the most serious crime category. Examples of felonies are robbery, burglary, child abuse, grand larceny, sale or distribution of narcotics, rape, and murder.
  • Grand Jury - Under Maryland law, grand juries are empowered to hear evidence presented by prosecutors and to file charges, known as indictments, in felony cases. The grand jury can also conduct independent investigations. Each grand jury is comprised of 23 people.
  • Hearsay - Evidence based upon the reports of others, rather than on the first-hand experience of a witness.
  • Hung Jury - A jury that cannot reach a unanimous verdict is called a hung jury. When there is a hung jury, the case may be retried.
  • Indictment - A written statement charging a party with the commission of a crime or other offense, drawn up by a prosecuting attorney, and voted and filed by the Grand Jury.
  • Information - Criminal charges filed by the State’s Attorney’s Office instead of the police or the Grand Jury.
  • Interpreter - Provides translation for non-English speaking witnesses and defendants. The interpreter is court certified and takes an oath to interpret truthfully.
  • Judge - Presides over trials and hearings, decides motions, and conducts arraignments.
  • Jurisdiction - The territorial range over which the authority to interpret and apply the law extends. The city of Baltimore and each of the 24 counties in the state of Maryland have a State’s Attorney who is an elected official. Each State’s Attorney has jurisdiction to prosecute crimes and offenses that are committed in the county of election only.