Discretion

n. A judge, public official, or private party’s power to form a decision within general legal guidelines that is based upon his/her opinion. For example: a) a judge has the discretion regarding the amount of a fine or whether to grant a trial’s continuance; b) An estate’s trustee or executor may have discretion to divide assets into approximate equal shares to beneficiaries; c) District Attorneys have the discretion to charge a crime as a felony or a misdemeanor; d) Governors have the discretion to grant a pardon; e) a planning commission has discretion to grant or not to grant a zoning ordinance variance.

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