Legal Dictionary

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Adjudicate

Adjudicate and adjudication have different meanings in different legal forums. In general, to adjudicate is to resolve a dispute by way of judicial authority. In juvenile court, when a case is set for adjudication, it is the equivalent of a case being set for trial, however in a juvenile adjudication there is no jury and the procedural rules are different. A Juvenile Delinquency Adjudication (JDA) is the finding that the juvenile committed the crime charged, however, it is different than a criminal conviction.

A person with a JDA has not been convicted of a crime and if asked this question, he or she can honestly answer, “No.” Deferred Adjudication (also known as Deferred Entry of Judgment or DEJ) is a sentencing alternative whereby a defendant who successfully completes a court ordered drug program is eligible to have the charges dismissed with no resulting criminal record.

Adjudicatory Hearing generally refers to proceedings before an administrative agency where the rights and duties of particular parties are determined. Similarly, Adjudicatory Process generally refers to administrative proceedings, as opposed to judicial ones.