Specific factors found and considered as reasons for why someone should be given a harsher penalty for a crime. Some states refer to aggravating circumstances as "special circumstances," "aggravators," or "aggravated factors."
A legal act (writ) that commands the detainment official to produce the body of the prisoner before a court or a judge. It is often used as a legal strategy to gain release from unlawful or inhumane detention.
A term used to describe mental functioning significantly lower-than-normal IQ. For legal porpuses in the US, the mental development must be at least two standard deviations below the norm (70 IQ or lower) to be considered "retardation."
The early release of a convicted felon from prison before the full term of incarceration has been served. Parole allows convicted felons to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community, rather than in prison. People granted parole usually have to report periodically to parole agents and must adhere to certain conditions and rules of conduct set by the court. A violation of parole conditions can result in the person being returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence or more.
Instead of being sentenced to a jail or prison sentence, probation allows a convicted criminal to serve out their sentence in the community. A sentence of probation is often the punishment for misdemeanor charges, and is sometimes granted for felony charges as well. People sentenced to probation must adhere to certain conditions and rules of conduct set by the court, and may have to report periodically to a probation officer. A violation of probation conditions may result in the person being incarcerated to serve the remainder of their sentence or more.