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a formal charge by a grand jury alleging a criminal act
formal hearing in court where the defendant is informed of charges being brought and generally pleads guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere
chain of custody
for evidence to maintain its integrity, there must be chronological documentation of each person having possession of the evidence (custody) from the point of collection (or seizure) until admission at trial, including how it has been controlled, transferred, analyzed, or otherwise handled
full faith and credit
any state must give "full faith and credit" to the laws and judgments of other states
stare decisis
the principle that a court should follow previous court decisions unless there exists a compelling reason not to