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n. slang for a criminal defendant's previous record of criminal charges, convictions, or other judicial disposal of criminal cases (such as probation, dismissal or acquittal). Only previous felony convictions can be introduced into evidence. However, the record of "priors" can have an impact on sentencing, as with prior drunk driving convictions requiring mandatory jail sentences, and "three strikes, you're out," providing for extended sentences for the third felony conviction.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Or was it a morbid obsession that demanded a child of hers should be named Samuel? Her third child was a girl, named after herself, and the fourth was a boy again.
Samuel had a splendid constitution, a tremendous grip on life.
Samuel became a teacher, much to his father's disgust, and even took extra certificates, going to Belfast for his examinations.
Oz fine a sailor-mon oz ever walked was Samuel Henan.
"The face o' the second mate was white oz death, an' he stood ut alone for half an hour, when ut was too much for hum an' he went below an' called Samuel an' the third.
Margaret Henan was forty-seven when the news came home of the loss of Samuel; and it was not long after that the unbelievable rumour went around Island McGill.
At any rate, with a great deal of strange, unordered learning and no degree, and with his fortune still to make, Samuel returned to his poverty-stricken home.
With forty pounds not much is to be done, and Samuel became an usher, or under-master in a school.
"Sir," said Johnson afterwards, "It was a love-marriage on both sides." And there can be no doubt that Samuel loved his wife devotedly while she lived, and treasured her memory tenderly after her death.
Johnson had a little money, and so Samuel returned to his native town and there opened a school.
Samuel Whiskers and his wife on the run, with big bundles on a little wheel-barrow, which looked very like mine.
Samuel Whiskers--children and grand-children and great great grand-children.