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Glossary of Terms



Acquital
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Arrest
Arrest warrant
Arraignment
Assault
At-will Employment
Battery
Case
Chain of Custody
Collection Site
Collection Process
Credit Report
Criminal Case
Defendant
Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
District Court
DOT Drug Screen
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Drug Testing Policy
Expunge
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Federal Court
Felony
File
GC/MS
Medical Review Officer (MRO)
Nolo Contendere
Non-DOT Drug Screen
Party
Patient Service Technician
Plaintiff
Plea
Post Accident Testing
Pre-Employment Testing
Random Testing
Reasonable Suspicion Testing
Return to Duty Testing
SAMHSA
Summons

Acquittal : A decision by a judge or jury that a defendant in a criminal case is not guilty of a crime. An acquittal is not a finding of innocence; it is simply a conclusion that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) : A catchall term that describes a number of methods used to resolve disputes out of court, including negotiation, conciliation, mediation and the many types of arbitration. The common denominator of all ADR methods is that they are faster, less formalistic, cheaper and often less adversarial than a court trial. In recent years the term Alternative Dispute Resolution has begun to lose favor in some circles and ADR has come to mean Appropriate Dispute Resolution. The point of this semantic change is to emphasize that ADR methods stand on their own as effective ways to resolve disputes and should not be seen simply as alternatives to a court action.
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Arrest : A situation in which the police detain a person in a manner that, to any reasonable person, makes it clear she is not free to leave. A person can be "under arrest" even though the police have not announced it; nor are handcuffs or physical restraint necessary. Questioning an arrested person about her involvement in or knowledge of a crime must be preceded by the Miranda warnings if the police intend to use the answers against the person in a criminal case. If the arrested person chooses to remain silent, the questioning must stop.
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Arrest warrant : A document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes the police to arrest someone. Warrants are issued when law enforcement personnel present evidence to the judge or magistrate that convinces her that it is reasonably likely that a crime has taken place and that the person to be named in the warrant is criminally responsible for that crime.
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Arraignment : A court appearance in which the defendant is formally charged with a crime and asked to respond by pleading guilty, not guilty or nolo contenders. Other matters often handled at the arraignment are arranging for the appointment of a lawyer to represent the defendant and the setting of bail.
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Assault : A crime that occurs when one person tries to physically harm another in a way that makes the person under attack feel immediately threatened. Actual physical contact is not necessary; threatening gestures that would alarm any reasonable person can constitute an assault.
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At-will Employment : The right of employers to fire employees for any reason, or for no reason at all. It also gives employees the legal right to quit their jobs at any time for any reason. Despite this legal doctrine, employers may not fire employees in a way that discriminates, violates public policy or conflicts with written or implied promises they make concerning the length of employment or grounds for termination.
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Battery : A crime consisting of physical contact that is intended to harm someone. Unintentional harmful contact is not battery, no mater how careless the behavior or how severe the injury. A fist fight is a common battery; being hit by a wild pitch in a baseball game is not.
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Case : A term that most often refers to a lawsuit -- for example, "I filed my small claims case." "Case" also refers to a written decision by a judge -- or for an appellate case, a panel of judges. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion is commonly referred to as the Roe v. Wade case. Finally, the term also describes the evidence a party submits in support of her position -- for example, "I have made my case" or "'My case-in-chief' has been completed."
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Chain of Custody : Chain of custody is the term that refers to the process of ensuring and providing documentation of proper specimen identification and handling from the time of collection to the receipt of laboratory results. If the results come under legal challenge, the specimen must have been handled according to chain of custody procedures exactly and accurately. The chain of custody protocol assures the specimen belongs to the individual whose information is printed on the specimen bottle label, no adulteration or tampering has taken place, exactly who had possession of the specimen and when, how the specimen was transported and stored before it was analyzed, no unauthorized access to the specimen was possible, and the specimen was handled in a secure manner
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Collection Site (Patient Service Center) : A facility where individuals present themselves for the purpose of providing body fluid(s) to be analyzed for specified controlled substances.
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Collection Process : All specimen collections should be done utilizing a secured restroom. After the donor has removed any bulky objects and washed their hands they should choose a sealed specimen collection kit. All seals are removed in the donor's presence and the donor should then be asked to provide a urine specimen. Following the collection of donor's specimen the chain of custody form should be filled out and completed while the donor is present. After all the specimen bottles, chain of custody form, and specimen bags are sealed then the donor may be allowed to leave.
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Civil Case : A non criminal lawsuit, usually involving private property rights. For example, lawsuits involving breach of contract, probate, divorce, negligence and copyright violations are just a few of the many hundreds of varieties of civil lawsuits.
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Credit Report : An account of your credit history, prepared by a credit bureau. A credit report will contain both credit history, such as what you owe to whom and whether you make the payments on time, as well as personal history, such as your former addresses, employment record and lawsuits in which you have been involved. An estimated 50% of all credit reports contain errors, such as accounts that don't belong to you, an incorrect account status or information reported that is older than seven years (ten years in the case of a bankruptcy).
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Crime : A type of behavior that is has been defined by the state, as deserving of punishment which usually includes imprisonment. Crimes and their punishments are defined by Congress and state legislatures.
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Criminal Case : A lawsuit brought by a prosecutor employed by the federal, state or local government that charges a person with the commission of a crime.
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Defendant : The person against whom a lawsuit is filed. In certain states, and in certain types of lawsuits, the defendant is called the respondent. Compare plaintiff, petitioner.
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District Court : In federal court and, in some states, the name of the main trial court. Thus, if you file suit in federal court, your case will normally be heard in federal district court. States may also group their appellate courts into districts -- for example, The First District Court of Appeal.
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D.O.T. (Department of Transportation) : The Department of Transportation is an operating administration of the United States administering regulations requiring alcohol and/or drug testing in accordance with 49CFR Part 40 of the federal regulations.
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D.O.T. Drug Screen : A D.O.T. drug screen is a screen that tests a specimen for five drugs (Opiates, PCP, Amphetamines, Marijuana and Cocaine) A D.O.T. approved chain of custody form is used during the collection process and a split sample is collected and both specimens are forwarded to the laboratory for testing. Once the laboratory completes the testing process the result is forwarded to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) for review. Following the MRO's review, results are reported to the designated reporting agency.
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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) : The crime of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs. Complete intoxication is not required; the level of alcohol or drugs in the driver's body must simply be enough to prevent him from thinking clearly or driving safely. State laws specify the levels of blood alcohol content at which a person is presumed to be under the influence. Also called driving while intoxicated (DWI and drunk driving).
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Drug Testing Policy : A well drafted policy outlines what type of testing will be conducted, the terms and definitions surrounding drug screening, and recourse for positive test results. A policy is also utilized to convey a strong message of zero tolerance towards drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
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Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) : A federal law that is designed to prevent inaccurate or obsolete information from entering or remaining in a credit report. The law requires credit bureaus to adopt reasonable procedures for gathering, maintaining and disseminating information and bars credit bureaus from reporting negative information that is older than seven years, except a bankruptcy, which may be reported for ten. If you notify a credit bureau of an error in your credit report, the FCRA requires the bureau to investigate your allegations within 30 days, review all information you provide, remove inaccurate and unverified information and adopt procedures to keep the information from reappearing. In addition, the law requires that creditors refrain from reporting incorrect information to credit bureaus.
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Federal Court : A branch of the United States government with power derived directly from the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution, federal law--for example, patents, federal taxes, labor law and federal crimes, such as robbing a federally chartered bank--and cases where the parties are from different states and are involved in a dispute for $75,000 or more.
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Expunge : To intentionally destroy, obliterate or strike out records or information in files, computers and other depositories. For example, state law may allow the criminal records of a juvenile offender to be expunged when he reaches the age of majority, to allow him to begin his adult life with a clean record. Or, a company or government agency may routinely expunge out-of-date records to save storage space.
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Felony : A serious crime (contrasted with misdemeanors and infractions, less serious crimes), usually punishable by a prison term of more than one year or, in some cases, by death. For example, murder, extortion and kidnapping are felonies; a minor fist fight is usually charged as a misdemeanor, and a speeding ticket is generally an infraction.
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File : A term commonly used to describe both the process of submitting a document to a court--for example, "I filed my small claims case today"--and to describe the physical location where these papers are kept. Traditionally, a court's case files were kept indefinitely in one or more cardboard folders. Today many files--especially those for inactive cases--are stored by computer.

GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) : GC/MS testing is considered to be the most definitive method for confirming the presence of a detected substance in urine. GC/MS is utilized to confirm test results that indicate any level of a controlled substance. When a laboratory suspects adulterants, dilution, or other sample abnormality, GC/MS will identify the exact chemicals compounds present in suspicious samples.
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Medical Review Officer (MRO) : According to DOT regulations, all DOT drug screens must be reviewed by an MRO. Many states also require an MRO review. An MRO is a license M.D. with a history of substance abuse diagnostic work. This service is also available for Non-DOT testing, if desired. During the MRO's review it may be necessary for them to contact and speak directly with the donor to verify any types of medication the donor has taken. The client will not be notified if this occurs and will only be notified when a test result is available. Who is qualified to act as an MRO?
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Misdemeanor : A crime, less serious than a felony, punishable by no more than one year in jail. Petty theft (of articles worth less than a certain amount), first-time drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident are all common misdemeanors.
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Nolo Contendere : A plea entered by the defendant in response to being charged with a crime. If a defendant pleads nolo contendere, she neither admits nor denies that she committed the crime, but agrees to a punishment (usually a fine or jail time) as if guilty. Usually, this type of plea is entered because it can't be used as an admission of guilt if a civil case is held after the criminal trial.
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Non-DOT Drug Screen : A Non-DOT screen is a screen that can test for a wide range of drugs such as; Opiates, PCP, Amphetamines/Methamphetamines, Marijuana, Cocaine; which is considered a 5-panel drug screen. This can be expanded upon by testing for the above five drugs and adding Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Methaqualone, Propxyphene; which is considered a 10-panel drug screen. A urine alcohol (ethyl) can be added to either panel if desired.
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Party : A person, corporation or other legal entity that files a lawsuit (the plaintiff or petitioner) or defends against one (the defendant or respondent).
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Patient Service Technician : A designated person trained in specimen collection procedures who insures that 1) donors are identified correctly, 2) chain of custody protocol is strictly followed, 3) donors' dignity is preserved, 4) no sample is adulterated or diluted during collection, and 5) donors and clients receive the best possible evidentiary collection and testing service possible.
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Plaintiff : The person, corporation or other legal entity that initiates a lawsuit. In certain states and for some types of lawsuits, the term petitioner is used instead of plaintiff. Compare defendant, respondent.
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Plea : The defendant's formal answer to criminal charges. Typically defendants enter one of the following pleas: guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere. A plea is usually entered when charges are formally brought (at arraignment).
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Post Accident Testing : Testing of an employee who is involved in an on-the-job accident (vehicular or otherwise) which may have involved human error and may have caused a fatality, serious injury, or significant property damage.
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Pre-employment Testing : A candidate for employment must pass the drug and/or alcohol test as a condition of employment. Testing can be performed as part of the application process 1) before an offer of employment is made, 2) as a part of the hiring process after an offer of employment is made but before the employee commences work, or 3) shortly after the individual begins work but continued employment is contingent upon successful completion of the drug and/or alcohol test.
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Random Testing : The testing of employees who are chosen on a "neutral-selection" basis without advance notice. True random testing is conducted by pooling a selected amount of numbers determined by the client from the total number of qualified participants' numbers in the random pool. Kroll (formerly InfoLink Screening Services) manages clients' random testing at no additional fee, but recommends that clients familiarize themselves with their state law; some states prohibit random testing while others restrict it to "safety sensitive" positions.
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Reasonable Suspicion/Cause Testing : The "cause" required is an objective, factual, individualized basis for testing, such as when an employee's observed behavior or physical appearance suggests drug and/or alcohol use or possession of drugs and/or alcohol.
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Return to Duty Testing : Employees returning from a leave of absence for sickness or injury exceeding a given number of days can be required to submit and successfully pass a drug and/or alcohol test as a condition of reinstatement.
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SAMHSA : Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (formerly NIDA, National Institute of Drug Abuse) is the department of the federal government that regulates and certifies laboratories currently processing DOT specimens. Laboratories with the SAMHSA certification are also available to test Non-DOT samples. These laboratories confirm all positive drug screen samples by GC/MS testing.
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Summons : A paper prepared by the plaintiff and issued by a court that informs the defendant that she has been sued. The summons requires that the defendant file a response with the court -- or in many small claims courts, simply appear in person on an appointed day -- within a given time period or risk losing the case under the terms of a default judgment.
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