earlier judicial test to determine whether a defendant
was insane at the time the crime was committed.
Under M'Naughten a defendant is legally insane if
the defendant could not distinguish between right
and wrong when the crime was committed.
term modus operandi means that the defendants
behavior possesses a common pattern that distinguishes
the unique identity of the defendant.
mental state of the defendant demonstrating a conscious
and intentional wrongdoing directed at another with
the specific intent to inflict harm. Malice in the
criminal sense is viewed as an evil which is so
despicable it justifies the greatest punishment
possible. Malice is often an element in first degree
company that manages the property for the owner.
A management company usually handles finding new
tenants, negotiating leases and rental agreements
with them, collecting rents, maintaining the property,
handling disputes, evicting tenants who fail to
pay rent, and handling security deposits. Management
companies may charge the owner a flat fee per month
or a percentage of the rents collected.
of marital property
power to use, sell, or otherwise properly manage
marital property. Depending upon state law, the
power may be exercised by one or the other spouse,
or may be exercised only by both spouses acting
agreement between husband and wife that provides
for division of property, support obligations, custody
and visitation matters, and anything else that the
parties want to resolve in their divorce. A marital
settlement agreement is normally approved by the
court and becomes a part of the divorce decree.
legal relationship of a man and a woman as husband
and wife. At this time, no state allows same sex
couples to marry.
unlawful but unintentional killing of another person.
It is commonly distinguished from murder because
of the absence of the intention to kill or create
a dangerous situation. There are two types of manslaughter:
voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter
is considered a killing which occurs in heat of
passion. The act suggests the defendant could not
control his or her actions. Involuntary manslaughter
occurs when a death is caused by a violation such
as drunk driving.
intentional and criminal act of cutting, disfiguring
or dismembering a human being. This form of hideous
crime carries the most severe penalties and is considered
a compound or aggravated felony.
informal and usually voluntary process in which
a third party tries to get the husband and wife
to resolve their differences without the need for
individual who mediates. Often the mediator is an
attorney who does not represent either husband or
wife, but simply tells them what they are likely
to get in a litigated matter and tries to get them
to resolve their differences without going to court.
If the parties agree, they will generally each take
the agreement to his or her own lawyer to review
it. The mediator's fees are usually shared by the
or other liability insurance coverage where one
is paid for his or her own medical bills regardless
of who is at fault for the accident.
committed by a professional health care provider.
This can include hospitals, doctors, dentists, or
meeting held approximately one month after the bankruptcy
filing, where the trustee asks the debtor questions
about his or her property and debts.
mental state of being which demonstrates criminal
intent. Without criminal intent there can be no
under legal age (generally 18, except for certain
purposes such as drinking alcoholic beverages).
requirement, also called the Miranda rule, set by
the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona (1966),
that prior to the time of arrest and any interrogation
of a person suspected of a crime, he/she must be
told that he/she has: the right to remain silent,
the right to legal counsel, and the right to be
told that anything he/she says can be used in court
against him/her. The warnings are known as Miranda
rights or just "rights." Further, if the accused
person confesses to the authorities, the prosecution
must prove to the judge that the defendant was informed
of these rights and knowingly waived them, before
the confession can be introduced in the defendant's
criminal trial. The Miranda rule supposedly prevents
self-incrimination in violation of the Fifth Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution. Sometimes there is a question
of admissibility of answers to questions made by
the defendant before he/she was considered a prime
suspect, raising a factual issue as to what is a
prime suspect and when a person becomes such a suspect.
intentional, illegal use of the property or funds
of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized
purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee
of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead
person's estate or by any person with a responsibility
to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary
duty). It is a felony (a crime punishable by a prison
sentence of one year or more).
crime punishable by less then one year in county
jail. Felonies are crimes punishable by one year
or more in state prison. Misdemeanors include petty
theft, drunk driving, and disturbing the peace.
of a felony
criminal act of concealing another's felony from
law enforcement. This crime comes very close to
the act of an accessory.
circumstances surrounding the commission of a crime
which reveal the lack of serious criminal intent.
These conditions compel justice to favor leniency
towards the defendant.
agreement between a landlord and tenant that permits
either party to terminate the agreement or change
the terms (including rent) by giving the other party
prior written notice at least 30 days before the
date of termination or change of terms.
referred to that standard of proof requiring the
prosecutor to prove the defendants guilt beyond
a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. Moral
certainty stresses the meaning of "beyond a reasonable
document that a lender (often a bank) receives from
someone who owns property. If the owner fails to
make payments on the loan, the deed of trust gives
the lender the right to have the property sold to
get the loan repaid. Similar to a deed of trust.
formal request that a judge consider and rule on
a lawyers argument involving issues of law
and fact. Many motions in criminal law are speaking
motions without written points and authorities.
Motions such as request for dismissal or request
for a new trial are rarely granted.
for a new trial
motion made after trial requesting that the court
grant a new trial on the basis of some error of
law or prejudice during the trial which could not
be corrected by a jury instruction.
defendants motion requesting the judge to
rule that the prosecution failed to reach their
burden of proof. Alternatively stated, the prosecutors
evidence fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant committed the crime.
for summary judgment
a lawsuit is filed, but before trial, under the
law either party may file a motion claiming that
there is no need for a trial because the undisputed
evidence clearly shows that the party making the
motion must win. If the judge agrees, the judge
will enter judgment for the moving party, and there
will be no trial. To defeat the motion, the opposing
party must submit papers showing that there is credible
evidence on the other side, so a trial is needed
to determine who is telling the truth.
common motion in criminal trials wherein counsel
for the defendant claims that evidence brought against
the defendant was illegally obtained and therefore
cannot be used against him or her. A coerced confession
in violation of Miranda is one such example.
to quash service of summons
a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff must have a proper
"summons" properly served on the defendant, telling
the defendant about the lawsuit and that the defendant
must respond. If there is something legally wrong
with the summons or the manner of service, the defendant
may file a motion to "quash" service of the summons.
If the judge agrees, the plaintiff will have to
serve a new summons. The lawsuit cannot proceed
until a proper summons is properly served.
reason a person committed the crime. Common motives
are money and revenge. While evidence of motive
is very persuasive it is not a necessary element
to prove a crime.
lower state court with jurisdiction over criminal
misdemeanors. In many states a felony criminal filing
will first be filed in municipal court and then
subsequent to indictment be transferred to superior
court for felony arraignment. Misdemeanors remain
in municipal court through trial.
intentional killing of a human being with malice
aforethought and without legal excuse or justification.
Many states consider it murder when a killing results
while in the course of a felony such as a car jacking
or a robbery. Most states consider it murder when
the killing results from torture, kidnapping or
the death of a police officer.