To leave a jurisdiction
to avoid being served with legal papers or being arrested. Leaving
with funds that have been stolen, as in "he absconded with the money."
Someone who helps
in the commission of a crime. Examples are driving a getaway car,
carrying weapons, or assisting in the planning of a crime. The accessory
does not have to be immediately present during the crime. Punishment
for an accessory is usually less than for the main defendant.
Someone who assists
in the commission of a crime. Unlike the accessory, the accomplice
is almost always present or directly aids in the commission of the
crime. The accomplice may be punished as the principal defendant.
The act of being
charged with a crime either by indictment or by an official filing
of charges by the District Attorney.
A person charged
with a crime.
A jury or a judge
at the end of a criminal trial renders a verdict for the defendant
finding the accused not guilty.
See also: verdict
of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal law that prohibits
discrimination in the workplace against workers who have disabilities,
have a history of a disability, or are perceived as disabled. The
ADA applies only to employers who have at least 15 employees.
of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the federal
law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace against workers
over the age of 40. The ADEA applies only to employers who have
at least 20 employees.
The procedure for converting status to that of a
Permission by an immigration officer admitting a person
to the U.S.
employee who is exempt from federal laws requiring overtime pay
because he makes at least $250 per week, and whose main responsibilities
include doing sophisticated work involving the company's policies
or business operations, exercising "discretion and independent judgment".
A statement made
by a defendant prior to trial. Admissions are usually construed
as true statements of fact which are often used against the defendant
An admission of
the truth of a fact by a defendant or by a witness such that the
admission is made against the person's own interests. This is often
used as an exception to the hearsay rule.
The judge's order
to accept evidence at trial. The admission of evidence is then considered
officially in the case and the jury can then weigh its value.
See also: evidence
A recorded or live
statement made by the accused that the crime charged was in fact
committed by the accused. An admission of guilt usually occurs after
the police have conducted an interrogation of the accused. It is
typically preceded by Miranda warnings.
A court order in
a criminal case allowing the accused to be freed pending trial if
the accused posts bail in an amount set by the court. The posting
of bail is intended to insure that the defendant will in fact appear
in court for all criminal proceedings. If the defendant fails to
show up in court the bail is lost.
legal procedure that ends the parent-child relationship between
a child and his/her natural parent(s) and creates a parent-child
relationship with the parent(s) who adopt the child.
A defensive claim
that, even if the plaintiff's grounds for judgements are true, the
plaintiff should win anyway. Examples are the landlord's breach
of the implied warranty of habitability (raised when the tenant
has failed to pay the rent) and retaliatory eviction (raised when
the tenant has failed to move even though a month-to-month tenancy
has been terminated by a 30-day notice).
employees differently because of their age.
age (set by state law) at which a parent is normally no longer responsible
for the support of his or her child.
The crime of physically
harming another person which results in serious bodily injury.
This crime usually
involves a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife or blunt instrument.
Aggravated assault is usually charged as a felony.
A serious crime that requires a non-citizen's removal from the U.S.
and prohibits the person from seeking relief from removal and most
aid and abet
The act of helping
someone commit a crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, such an act
occurs before the crime is committed.
A name used by
someone other than his or her real name. It is usually used to reference
that other name. It is often used to hide a person's true legal
A person who is
not a citizen of the hosting country. There are resident aliens
officially permitted to live in the country and illegal aliens who
have otherwise gained entry into the country.
support ordered by a divorce court. Family support obligations are
not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
The official act
of charging a defendant with a fact as true. In criminal complaints
a charge is usually defined within the context of the commission
of a crime.
legal proceeding in which the judge declares a marriage void - i.e.,
that the marital status never existed. Annulment is different from
divorce in that a divorce ends a valid marriage.
document filed in court by the defendant in response to the creditor's
written agreement made by people who intend to get married, in which
property rights, support rights, and other rights and obligations
are set out. An antenuptial agreement is sometimes referred to as
a "prenuptial" or "premarital" agreement.
The written request
usually by the defendants lawyer to a higher court asking
that court to reverse the decision of the trial court because of
a legal error or because the trial was conducted unfairly.
process of deciding how much of the property acquired by the husband
and wife is owned by them together, and how much is owned by only
one of them. Apportionment is necessary when both marital and non-marital
assets are used to buy property during the marriage.
process for resolving disputes outside of court by using an impartial
arbitrator instead of judges. An award made by arbitrators can normally
be turned into a court judgment and enforced like any other court
in a contract that requires the parties to have any dispute decided
by an "arbitrator" and not in court. An arbitrator is a type of
private judge, and the arbitration hearing is much less formal than
a court hearing. There is usually no right to appeal an arbitrator's
When a lawyer asks
a question of a witness that does not seek a direct answer but rather
challenges the credibility or truthfulness of the witness. Most
courts do not allow this type of question. Questions that are argumentative
usually have a sarcastic character and are insincere.
When a criminal
defendant is formally charged with a crime. The defendant is given
a choice to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. In some cases
the court will grant a continuance for the defendant to seek counsel
before pleading. This is usually the first court appearance.
The first formal
hearing in which a person charged with a crime is asked to respond
with a plea before a judge. This is the first appearance of a criminal
defendant and his lawyer.
The act of taking
custody of a suspect by a law enforcement officer. An arrest may
be made by warrant issued by a court pursuant to probable cause
that a crime was committed, or upon probable cause by a peace officer
on information and belief that a crime is or was just committed.
A judicial order
to law enforcement to arrest a specific person. This person will
be then formally charged with a crime.
The criminal act
of intentionally burning a building, home or other structure. A
from arson is considered a felony-murder in most states.
A physical act
of threatening another with force or threat of force. The perpetrator
usually must be capable of carrying through with the attack. It
is important to note that the intended victim does not need to know
of the peril. Aggravated assault is usually considered an attack
connected with the commission of another crime.
The joint act of
threat (assault) and actual unlawful touching intending to harm
acts are criminal.
A person who receives
an assignment of a lease or, other rights.
The transfer of
an entire right, or set of rights to another person.
A person who assigns
right to another.
A person granted asylum status.
A status given to someone who has established a well
founded fear of persecution on account of political
opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership
in a particular social group.
A person who has
been qualified by a state or federal court to provide legal services,
including appearing in court. Graduation from law school does not
make one an attorney. The person, usually, must pass a state bar
examination and be accepted as morally fit to practice law.
The attorney who
has appeared in court with the client. He or she remains the attorney
of record and is the official legal representative for the defendant.
An attorney must be relieved by the court before the attorney can
stop working for the client.
written materials, notes, conversations, investigations, and thoughts
on a case made in preparation for defending a client in that case
or legal proceeding. An attorney cannot be required to produce work
product as evidence without a court order.
The legal rule
that an attorney may not reveal communications, conversations and
written material between the attorney and his or her client. Lawyers
are expected to speak freely with a client without fear of future
disclosure. The communication between a client and his or her attorney
is considered sacred.
employment relationship in which either the employer or the employee
may terminate the employment at any time for any reason.