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Common Terms
Discovery

The pretrial process by which one party discovers the evidence that will be relied upon at trial by the opposing party. Often the first piece of discovery will be police reports relating to the charged offense.

"Scratched"/"Vacated"

Occasionally, preliminary hearings are “scratched” or “vacated.” This may mean that the formal charges were not filed or that the prosecutor has chosen to take the case to the grand jury. The charges may be re-filed. Defendants should provide any address changes to the post office so mail from the court regarding charges will reach a defendant. If mail is not received, a defendant may be arrested when the charges are re-filed.

Grand Jury

A body of people who are chosen to sit and decide whether to issue indictments. If the grand jury decides that evidence is strong enough to hold a suspect for trial, it returns a bill of indictment charging the suspect with a specific crime.

Indictment

The formal written accusation of a crime, made by a grand jury and presented to the court for prosecution against the accused person.

Fugitive of Justice (FOJ)

The Fugitive of Justice calendar monitors defendants who are arrested on an active warrant from another state. They are given an initial appearance and receive their next court date on the FOJ Complaint calendar. At this hearing, the defendant is given the option of signing a waiver to be extradited to the state where the complaint originated or they can contest the complaint. It the defendant chooses to contest the complaint, the Court sets 30, 60 and 90 day review hearings. If the defendant is unable to resolve the complaint from the other state, the governor of the State of Arizona can issue a warrant to extradite the defendant to the original state on or before the 90th day.

Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender
222 North Central Avenue, Suite 8100, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Main Office: (602) 506-8800  |  Fax: (602) 506-2088  
Juvenile Dependency/Severance: (602) 506-5800  |  Fax: (602) 506-0921
Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender
222 North Central Avenue, Suite 8100
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Main Office
Phone: (602) 506-8800 | Fax: (602) 506-2088
Juvenile Dependency/Severance
Phone: (602) 506-5800 | Fax: (602) 506-0921
Maricopa County || 301 W. Jefferson St. || Phoenix, AZ 85003 || 602-506-3011
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