The first step in criminal proceeding where the defendant is brought in front of the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.
See, e.g. County of Riverside v. McLaughlin 500 U.S. 44 (1991) and Godinez v. Moran, 509 U.S. 389 (1993).
A standard of review used by appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts. A judgment will be termed an abuse of discretion if the adjudicator has failed to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision-making skills.