Glossary of Terms

ACQUITTAL - The decision of a judge or jury that the defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 
ADMISSION TO SUFFICIENT FACTS - An admission by the defendant that there is sufficient evidence to support a finding of guilty.

ARRAIGNMENT - The court hearing in which the defendant is charged with a crime and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.

ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY/PROSECUTOR-An attorney employed by the Commonwealth whose duty is to prosecute persons accused of committing criminal offenses.

BAIL – An amount of money or property sometimes imposed by the court to insure future attendance in court.

C.O.R.I. – Criminal Offender Record Information.

– A change of defendant’s plea from not guilty to guilty.

COMPLAINT – A written accusation of a crime made in the District Court by a police officer or a private citizen.

CONTINUANCES – A delay or postponement of a court hearing.

DEFAULT – A defendant’s failure to appear at a required legal proceeding.

DEFENDANT- A person formally charged with a crime.

DEFENSE COUNSEL – The attorney representing the defendant.

DISPOSITION – The end result of a case.

FELONY – A crime punishable by incarceration in the state prison for a period of years.

–A group of 23 people that hear evidence presented by a prosecutor to determine if a formal charge (indictment) should issue.

INDICTMENT – A written statement of a crime by the Grand Jury charging the defendant and issued in the Superior Court.

INDIGENT – Having insufficient income or assets to pay for a Defense Attorney.

JURISDICTION – The extent of authority of a particular court.

MISDEMEANOR – A crime punishable by incarceration in the County House of Correction for a maximum of 2 ½ years.

PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE –The hearing in which the prosecutor and the defense report the status of the case to the court.

PROBATION – The defendant is placed under the supervision of a probation officer and is required to fulfill certain conditions during a specified time period.

RESTITUTION –A judge, in some cases, may order the defendant to pay out of pocket expenses to a victim of crime.

–A court order requiring an appearance in court.

VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT –Massachusetts General Laws chapter 258B allows.



For information on
Norfolk County
click here

Norfolk Superior Court
650 High Street
Dedham, MA 02026


Quincy District Court
One Dennis Ryan Pkwy
Quincy, MA 02169


Quincy Juvenile Session
One Dennis Ryan Pkwy
Quincy, MA 02169

Dedham District Court
631 High Street
Dedham, MA 02026

Dedham Juvenile Court
55 Allied Drive
Dedham, MA 02026


Wrentham District Court
60 East Street - Rt. 140
Wrentham, MA 02093

Stoughton District Court
1288 Central Street
Stoughton, MA 02072

Brookline District Court
360 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445

Brookline Juvenile Session
360 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445

Norfolk Probate &
Family Court

35 Shawmut Road
Canton, MA 02021