Used when an individual has more than one name; abbreviation version of “also known as”; “alias”.


Assault with a Dangerous Weapon — anviolent conflict in which the a person uses any of a variety of weapons to injure or threaten injury. Common instruments that satisfy this threshold include knife, gun, shodfoot (kicking), hammer, rock, furniture, etc.


Person who is in involved in a criminal act but not necessarily present at the crime scene:threshold acts include aiding, abetting, commanding, or counseling another in a crime. Other terms include “accomplice” or “abettor”.

Aggravation (e.g. aggravated assault, aggravated battery)

A factor that substantially magnifies the severity of an offense.


Abbreviation that means “arresting officer”.


To detain and hold an individual with lawful authority in order to charge him with a criminal complaint.

Arrest Warrant

A judge’s order to arrest a person and compel him to appear in court.


Burning a structure or vehicle as a criminal act.


A credible attempt or threat to harm another person which causes the victim to fear injury or bodily harm.

Attempt Robbery/Attempted Robberies

Criminal actions that show attempts/intent to steal from another; it is not necessary to complete the action or possess another’s property to be charged with this offense.


Harm to a person in any way, or physical contact with insult.

Bench Warrant

A court-issueddemand toappear or be present.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

The detectable level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

BOLO (Be on the Lookout)

Law enforcementterm alerting others to seek involved parties, often followed by physical descriptions of accomplices or persons of interest.


An instrument that determines the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) by means of measuring respiration.


A sum of money or other payment offered in exchange for influencing a person’s views or conduct. Bribes paid to police may be sought to protect illegal activity, obtain information on criminal investigations, remove criminal files, or alter court testimony.

Burglary, First Degree

Attempting to steal from another by entering a dwelling unauthorized/uninvited while the occupant is present.

Burglary, Second Degree

Attempting to steal from another by entering a dwelling unauthorized/uninvited.

Burning One’s Own Property with Intent to Defraud

Burning a property, building or vehicle of one’s own in order to defraud another.

Campus police

Law enforcement officials on college and university campuses.


Taking a motor vehicle with recklessness or force from another person in possession.

Child Sexual Abuse, First Degree

Sexual acts with a child under the age of 16 when the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim.


A written record of a minor offense issued by police officers that specifies a standard penalty yet allows for appeal of that penalty (e.g. traffic ticket).

Civil Action

A court filing seeking financial damages or restitution for a financial injury to the complainant (e.g. replacement cost for lost property).


Description of skin color (“light,” “medium,” or “dark”).


The victim or person instigating a legal process by filing a complaint.


the sworn accusation of criminal behavior.


Establishment of guilt based on a suspect’s admissions.


Plan and subsequent actions by a couple or groupto commit a crime.


Refusal to comply with a court order and/or disobeying a judge’s requests.

Controlled Substance

A drug or substance regulated by federal or District of Columbia law, including opiates.


Breach of behavioral standards for police officers or other officials that includes abuse of authority for financial or personal advancement.

County Police

Municipal law enforcement with county jurisdiction whose role is more limited than sheriffs’.They comprise about 1 percent of local departments.


A Constitutionally-constructed body with authority to decide legaldisputes.

Court Appointed Attorney

An attorney who represents a moneyless party.

Criminal Action

A legal processin which the state accuses an individual with breaking a lawand in which the defendant faces a fine or jail time if convicted.


Date of Birth.

Domestic dispute

When police are called to intervene in an escalating dispute between two or more members of a family, a household, or others in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence

Actual or threatened violence between two members of a family, household or people in an intimate relationship.

Disorderly Conduct

A provocative act which alarms or disturbs another and/or disturbs the peace.

Distribution of a Controlled Substance

Providing or attempting to provide a quantity of drugs to another.

Driving Under the Influence

Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (.08 percent blood alcohol content as measured by Breathalyzer) or drugs.


Physical characteristics that are shared by people with the same geographic ancestry (e.g. Latin, Eastern European, Asian).


The process of transferring between states a person wanted for criminal prosecution or imprisonment.


An offense for which the death sentence or one year or more of imprisonment is possible.

Hate crime

A crime based on intolerance for the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

High-speed pursuit

When a suspect flees a police officer at high speed.


Killinganother human being, whether murder or manslaughter.

Homicide, Justifiable

Killing another personin self defense or to prevent a forcible felony.

Human disorder

Societal decay due to residents’ behaviors including public drinking, gang activity, street harassment, drug sale and use, noise, and commercial sex.


A grand jury’s decision, forwarded to the court, charging an individual with a crime based on evidence provided.


To threaten another in order to influence his behavior. The threat may include physical harm, restraint, confinement, or accusations of crime (even if true).


A person under 18 years old, also referred to as a youth or minor.


Last Known Address.


A facility for processing and holding those accused of a crime, including for photographingand fingerprinting.


Modus Operandi, (Latin) meaning method of operation, the typical way an individual goes about committing a crime. (E.g.wearing dark glasses when robbing a bank).

Malicious Burning

Burning property valued at more than $200 with malicious intent.


Killing a human being without malice (e.g. in a traffic accident).

Manslaughter, Voluntary

Killinganotherwillfully or with a conscious disregard of an extreme risk of death or serious bodily injury,and in which mitigating factors (e.g. acting in the heat of passion or by adequate provocation) precludes a determination that the killing was malicious.

Manslaughter, Involuntary

An unintentional or accidental killing without justification or excuse (e.g. in a traffic accident).


A person under 18 years old, a juvenile.


A criminal offense for which the maximum sentence is one year or less.

Municipal police

Also known as city police,this category comprises the majority of American law enforcement.

Murder, First Degree

Killing with specific intent, premeditation and deliberation, without self-defense or mitigation.

Murder, First Degree Felony

Killing a person while committing a felony, including arson, sexual abuse in the first degree, child sexual abuse in the first degree, cruelty to children in the first degree, mayhem, robbery, kidnapping, first degree burglary while armed with or wielding a dangerous weapon, burglary in the second degree while armed with or using a dangerous weapon, or distribution of a controlled substance.

Murder, Second Degree

Killing with intent to kill or seriously injure, or disregard of the known risk of death or serious bodily injury to that person, and in the absence of self-defense or mitigation.

Negligent Homicide

Death resulting from careless, reckless, or negligent operation of a motor vehicle.


A violation of the law of a state or local jurisdiction.

Petty Offense

An offense for which the only allowable penalty is a fine.

Police officer

An employeeof a government (municipal, city, regional, or state)who has the authority to enforce the law and may use coercive force when carrying out normal duties.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Willingly having a drug classified as a controlled substance.

Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute

Willingly having a drug classified as a controlled substancein conjunction withthe desire to transfer it to another person.

Probable Cause

Where known facts and circumstances, of a reasonably trustworthy nature, are sufficient to justify a man of reasonable caution or prudence in the belief that a certain person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a criminal act.


An attorney who brings a criminal action against va person in the name of the government.


Acategory of people determined by shared physical and biological traits (e.g. Caucasian, African-Americans, Asians, Latins).


Handheld machine used by police officers to measure speeds of vehicles.


Forced, nonconsensual sexual intercourse using force or threat of force.

Reasonable Suspicion

Factors that combine to lead a law enforcement official to narrow the field of possible suspects in a criminal act but which don’t meet the criteria for an arrestable offense.

Robbery Fear

A robbery in which the suspect coerces the victim without physical force or possession of a weapon.

Robbery F & V (Robbery–Force & Violence)

The use of physical force in the commission of a robbery.

Robbery Hold Up Gun (Robbery HUG, or RHUG)

A robbery in which the victim believed he saw the suspect in possession of a firearm.

Robbery Hold Up Knife

A robbery in which the victim believed he saw the suspect in possession of a knife.

Robbery Snatch

Afast robbery in which the suspect grabspossessions from the victim.

Search Warrant

A judge’s authorizing an officer to search a specific area (residence, office, vehicle) for and seize property that may be evidence in a criminal complaint or trial.

Sexual Abuse

A sexual act or sexual contact without the victim’s permission.

Sexual Abuse, First Degree

Engaging in or causing another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act (1) by using force against that other person; or (2) by threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping; or (3) after rendering that other person unconscious; or (4) after administering to that other person a drug or intoxicant.

Sexual Abuse, Second Degree

Engaging in or causing another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act (1) by threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear, or (2) where the person knows or has reason to know that the other person is unable to understand the nature of the conduct, or unable to decline participating in the sexual act, or unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in that sexual act.


An elected law enforcement official who also serves in the court and corrections systems.


(1) Theft by concealment of an item for sale, or (2) removing or altering a price tag or other identification mark imprinted on or attached to property for sale; or (3) switching containers of items for sale.

Statute of Limitations

Thefinite period of time in which to bring lawsuits or criminal prosecutions for many categories of crime. Does not apply to murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, treason, arson, or forgery.


Taking or using the property of another person with the intent of depriving the owner of the right to the property.

Traffic Ticket

A citation issued by a police officer for a traffic violation that may be settled with payment of a fine or by appearing in court to plead or appeal.

Unlawful Entry

Intentionally entering or attempting to enter a building without permission (e.g. trespassing).

Verbal abuse

Inappropriate language, particularly racial and ethnic slurs, when used by police officers.


Vehicle Identification Number, a unique identifier assigned to vehicles during the manufacturing process.


A judge’s order directing a law enforcement officer to arrest a person and bring them to court.


One who testifies as to what they have seen, heard, or otherwise observed and who is not necessarily a party to the action.


Someone under age 18, a juvenile.