toggle menu
Logo: Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office

Glossary of Terms – Miami-Dade County Court

Adjudication: Adjudication means the court makes a finding of guilty and the person is sentenced with a conviction.

Arraignment: Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant, to inform them of the charges against them.

Bench Trial: trial by a judge in which a judge decides the verdict.

Court Costs: Court costs are fees charged for the use of the Court.

Credit Time Served (CTS): CTS stands for Credit Time Served. This is where the Judge includes the period of time a criminal defendant spends in jail while awaiting bail or trial into the final sentence. CTS can be the entire plea or a portion of the plea if the sentence exceeds the amount of time the defendant has already spent. Accepting CTS means the defendant will be adjudicated guilty and the person will receive a conviction for the charge.

Jury Trial: In a jury trial, community members work together as fact-finders to determine the verdict.

Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD):  Pre-Trial Diversion or PTD is is a program run by the State Attorney’s Office. If a defendant chooses to participate in PTD, she/he will be entering into a contractual agreement with the State Attorney. In exchange for successfully completing the program requirements, the State will dismiss or nolle prosse the charge(s). The program providers for misdemeanor cases are Advocate and Court Options. They will provide the defendant with the guidance and support needed to complete PTD. Additionally, upon successful completion of the pretrial diversion program, a defendant may be eligible to have their arrest record sealed or expunged.

Pro Se Litigant: A pro se litigant is a person representing themselves in Court.

Sounding: Sounding is a court hearing used to ensure cases are continually moving forward toward a resolution. Sounding allows the Court to inquire of both sides (State and Defense) as to the procedural posture of the case; namely, their readiness for trial.

Withhold of Adjudication (WH): Withhold of adjudication means there is no conviction as to the criminal offence. A person can still be found guilty by a jury or plead guilty. Here the person is sentenced without a “conviction.” This means a defendant can truthfully advise employers that she/he has never been convicted of a crime.