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Acquittal
When someone charged with a crime is found not guilty by a court.
Appeal
When the defendant asks for the court's decision to be reviewed. It may result in another hearing.

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Bail
When the suspect is free until they have to return to the police station or court.

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Case
When you report a crime to the police, everything about that crime is then called the case. 
Charge
When a person is officially accused of committing a crime.
Civil cases
Not all incidents are considered crimes. Issues like debt, housing disputes and bankruptcy are called civil cases. You might get help from Civil Legal Advice if you qualify for legal aid.
Criminal Justice System
The organisations that work together to keep people safe. They include the police, courts, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Ministry of Justice.
Crown Court
This court usually deals with the most serious crimes. It normally has a jury who decides if a suspect is guilty. And a judge who decides on the sentence given. Read more about how courts work.
Crown Prosecution Service
The CPS presents criminal cases at court after they have been investigated by the police.

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Defence
The reasons a defendant gives to deny a crime.
Defendant
The person charged with a criminal offence.

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Evidence
Information that can show what happened in a case.

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Family Liaison Officer
A police officer who is trained to work with the family of someone killed as the result of a crime. Their role is to inform and support you during the investigation, and get information from you that could help the police. 

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Human trafficking
This is when a person is brought to (or moved around) a country by others and forced to do things they don’t want to do.

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Investigating officer
The police officer in charge of your case who can keep you up to date with the investigation. You can call them on 101. When you report the crime you'll be given a crime reference number. You'll need this number to be put through to the right person.
Investigation
When the police take witness statements and gather evidence to try and establish the facts of a crime and charge a suspect. 

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Licence conditions
When an offender is released from prison to serve the rest of their sentence in the community they are ‘on licence’. They must follow certain rules, eg staying in touch with their probation officer.

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Magistrates' court
This court hears most criminal cases except the most serious. Decisions are made by a district judge or 2 or 3 voluntary magistrates. There's no jury. Read more about how courts work.

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Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

If you've complained to a criminal justice organisation about the service you've received and are not happy with their response, the PHSO can look into it for you. You'll need to contact your MP and ask them to forward your complaint to the PHSO.

Parole Board
Parole Board hearings recommend whether or not a prisoner will be released into the community. 
Plea
The answer the suspect gives to the court when asked if they are guilty or not guilty.
Probation
When someone serves their sentence outside of prison.
Prosecutor
The lawyer who presents the case against the defendant.

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Registered Intermediaries

Specialists who help vulnerable witnesses give evidence in court by explaining the questions they're asked and communicating their answers.

Remand
When the court decides to send a suspect to prison until their case is heard.
Restorative justice
Bringing together people affected by crime or conflict with those responsible, to find a positive way forward.

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Sentence
The punishment that a court gives an offender when they are found guilty.
Special Measures
The extra support a court can provide to help vulnerable or intimidated witnesses give their best evidence. These measures could include putting screens around the witness box.
Suspect
Someone who the police think may have committed a crime.

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Threatened
Being made to feel afraid someone will hurt you.
Trial
The court hearing that works out whether someone who is accused of a crime is guilty.

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Usher
The person who will show you where to go when you're in court.

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Victim Liaison Officer

The person who works with you if you've joined the Victim Contact Scheme. They keep you updated about key stages or events in the offender's sentence. They can also make sure your views are shared with the prison or Parole Board when release is being considered.

Victim Personal Statement
Your chance to describe how the crime has affected you. You can ask to read it aloud in court, or have it read out for you. If an offender is considered for early release from prison you can make a new VPS for the Parole Board.
Victims' Code
The government document that sets out what information and support victims of crime can expect from public services like the police and courts. Different versions are available, including brochures, a video and the full code in English and Welsh.
Victim surcharge
The money that offenders have to pay when they’re sentenced, which helps pay for victim services.

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Witness Care Unit
The people who provide information and support to help victims and witnesses give evidence in court.
Witness Charter

A government document which sets out how you can expect to be treated by the police if you witnessed a crime, and if you have to give evidence in court. Different versions are available, including an easy-to-read brochure as well as the full charter in English and Welsh.

Witness Service
The people at court who provide practical and emotional support to witnesses.
Witness statement
A written or recorded account of the facts and details of a crime.
Witness summons
An instruction from the court saying you must go to court to give evidence.

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Youth Offending Team
The team that works with young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who get into trouble with the law.