Key Terms: M - O

  • Mediation - A process that helps people with a disagreement reach an agreement about the issue that is disputed.
  • Misdemeanor - Misdemeanors are less serious criminal offenses. Examples of misdemeanors are shoplifting, trespassing, possession of controlled dangerous substances (illegal drugs), and driving under the influence.
  • Mistrial - A trial that is terminated by the court prior to the rendering of a jury or judge verdict. A mistrial may be declared for a variety of reasons, including a hung jury or an error in the proceedings.
  • Motion - A motion is a procedural device to bring a contested issue before a court for a decision. It may be thought of as a request to the judge to make a decision about the case.
  • Nolle Prosequi - When a decision of the State’s Attorney’s Office is made to not proceed with a case, the Assistant State’s Attorney enters the case nolle prosequi in court.
  • Objection - A formal oral protest made by the Assistant State’s Attorney or the defense attorney during a court proceeding to a judge regarding a question, testimony or evidence.
  • Office of the Attorney General - The Attorney General of Maryland is the chief legal officer of the State. The Attorney General's Office has general charge, supervision and direction of the legal business of the State, acting as legal advisors and representatives of the major departments, various boards, commissions, officials and institutions of State Government. The Office also represents the State in all cases pending in the Appellate Courts of the State, and in the U.S. Supreme Court and lower Federal Courts.
  • Office of the Public Defender - The Office of the Public Defender is an independent State agency that provides legal services to individuals who have been charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire a private attorney.
  • Overruled - A term used in court by the judge when ruling on an objection made by the Assistant State’s Attorney or the defense attorney. It means that the judge does not agree with the objection and will allow the question, testimony or evidence.