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Bexar County Criminal Defense Glossary

Bexar County Criminal Defense Glossary


Every occupation has its language. The Bexar County Criminal Defense community is no different. In San Antonio, Texas, if you are charged with a crime, you may see some of these terms and wonder what they mean. This glossary will help you know the meaning of many commonly used terms. Do you see a term being used in the criminal defense context but don’t see it here? Let us know, and we will add it.

Questions about the Glossary

Shouldn’t Glossaries be alphabetical? Yes, in a perfect world, ours would be. But we wrote these down as they came to mind, and like every other normal person, I don’t think alphabetically.

Aren’t some of these generic criminal defense terms?  Yes. And some of them are specific to Bexar County.  But all of them are terms you should know if you are involved in the world of Bexar County criminal defense.





Fugitive. Someone who has a warrant. Usually, they have missed court, but sometimes a person becomes a FUG after they get charged (indicted) for a crime they were under investigation.


RWOBRemanded Without Bond. This usually happens when someone was on a bond while awaiting trial or on some form of supervision (Deferred adjudication or Probation)


CappedIf a sentence is capped, it means that the parties have agreed that the sentence cannot exceed a certain number of years. “We got a cap twenty” The judge can follow the agreement by sentencing anywhere between the minimum and 20.


OpposedIf an application is opposed, it means the State will be allowed to argue against the application, and the judge can deny the application while still following the agreement.


RecA recommendation for the application. The State will argue in favor of the application.


SilentThe State remains silent on the application. The Judge can grant or deny the application while still following the agreement.


SIDState Identification Number. This is a number assigned to you by Bexar County. The term “State Identification Number” is misleading because it only applies to Bexar County. Once you leave Bexar County, you get a different number.


GPSGlobal Positioning System. This refers to the machine or device that is fastened around the ankle to keep track of your location. If you are “on GPS” or “on House Arrest,” you will be tracked with one of these monitors until your attorney convinces the judge to get it taken off.


Plea MonkeyAn attorney who does not practice law but pleas out his clients and never goes to trial. Overheard at the DA’s office, “We don’t have any evidence, but no worries, his attorney is a plea monkey.” How do you know if you have a plea monkey attorney? If he only gives you the option to plead guilty and does not discuss a trial strategy your attorney might be a plea monkey. Every criminal defense attorney plea bargains but if an attorney never goes to trial the State does not have an incentive to give out the best deals.


Sattelite BondA bond that is posted at the courthouse. It allows someone with an arrest warrant to be processed without having to go to jail.


FTAFailure to appear. There are several ways you can get an arrest warrant. But if you miss a court date, you will have an FTA. In the system, you will show up as a FUG. If you get an FTA, you may be RWOB and need an attorney to have a bond set so you can get a satellite bond.


Baby ProsecutorAn attorney who gets out of law school and goes to work at the District Attorney’s Office. They have trouble telling if a case is good or bad. They follow office guidelines and do not use their own discretion to dismiss cases.


Federal CaseA case prosecuted by The United States of America. If you find yourself in the Western District of Texas, you have a Federal case. However, most people don’t have Federal cases. They have felony cases and are required to appear in State District Court.


FelonyA crime that is punishable by more than a year in jail. Usually, people who have felony offenses believe (mistakenly) that they have a Federal offense. You can have Federal Felony accusations and you can have State Felony accusations the seriousness of the offense is determined by the range of punishment that you can face.


ABI-MarriedAssault Bodily Injury Married. These are Domestic Violence cases. Domestic violence cases can involve any member of your household or family. Still, the charge is listed as an ABI-Married.


Failure to Stop and Render AidThis is what people call a hit and run. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and don’t stop at the scene, you will be charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid. The seriousness of the offense will be determined by how much damage was done and whether other people were injured.


TPOTemporary Protective Order. If you’ve been served with a protective order it is valid for 20 days before you go to court. Find out how to respond to a protective order here.
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