job with duties that include responsibility
for the employee's own or other people's
safety, where it would be especially
dangerous if the employee is using drugs
or alcohol on the job.
compensation paid by an employer to
an employee for work performed for the
employer - usually a set amount of money
for a certain period of time. Sometimes
known as "wages".
for "willful" conduct. The
focus is on whether the defendant actually
had criminal intent. Criminal intent
is a necessary element for all crime.
term is commonly used to describe the
weight of evidence as small and barely
enough to make a factual finding.
intrusive search of a persons
residence, business, person or vehicle
by law enforcement. A legal search and
seizure must be based on probable cause
that a crime was committed or is in
the process of being committed. The
Fourth Amendment to the Constitution
provides: "The right of people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures
obtained in violation of the Constitution
will be excluded from evidence as a
matter of law.
judicial declaration in writing granting
permission to law enforcement to search
and seize identifiable evidence at a
specific time and place. The search
warrant must be supported by probable
cause. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution
no warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported
by oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized."
Evidence seized without legal cause
cannot be used in court as evidence
against the defendant.
killing of a human being without malice
or premeditation. Most states have specific
statutory distinctions between murder
in the first degree and second degree.
Murder in the first degree is usually
a killing that was premeditated and
was particularly malicious.
promise to allow a creditor to take
a specified item of property if the
debt is not paid.
amount of money given to the landlord
by the tenant at the outset of the tenancy,
to secure the tenant's performance of
certain legal obligations specified
in the lease or rental agreement - such
as payment of rent and cleaning the
premises at termination of the tenancy.
to treason, sedition is intentional
insurrection and rebellion against the
government. Sedition also applies to
actions which support and aid the enemy
in times of war.
is a common defense to assault, battery
or homicide. It is interpreted to mean
that degree of reasonable force necessary
to protect oneself from physical harm.
Self-defense cannot include killing
or great bodily harm to defend property,
unless it also threatens to harm that
person. A common example is self-defense
during the commission of a burglary.
by a landlord to evict a tenant, other
than through an eviction lawsuit. Such
acts might consist of changing locks,
turning off utilities, or removing doors
or windows. In most instances, self-help
evictions are illegal.
Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
guarantees that one cannot "be compelled
in any criminal case to be a witness
". It is unlawful
for law enforcement or government to
compel a person to testify against his
or her legal interest under oath or
force another to produce evidence which
tends to prove his or her guilt.
judicial pronouncement of the defendants
punishment for being found guilty of
a crime. Sentencing usually follows
a separate hearing where the judge considers
argument from counsel. A sentence usually
refers to state prison time but could
also include restitution or other punishment.
A sentence could also include the terms
of probation. For misdemeanors the maximum
sentence is usually one year in county
property. Generally, separate property
includes property owned before marriage
as well as property acquired during
the marriage by gift or inheritance
to only one spouse. "Separate property"
can also refer to the system of marital
property ownership that is followed
by non-community property states.
keep separate or apart. In so-called
"high-profile" criminal prosecutions
(involving major crimes, events or persons
given wide publicity) the jury is sometimes
"sequestered" in a hotel without access
to news media, the general public or
their families except under supervision,
in order to prevent the jury from being
"tainted" by information or opinions
about the trial outside of the evidence
in the courtroom. A witness may be sequestered
from hearing the testimony of other
witnesses, commonly called being "excluded,"
until after he/she has testified, supposedly
to prevent that witness from being influenced
by other evidence or tailoring his/her
testimony to fit the stories of others.
illness that qualifies a worker to take
time off under the federal Family and
Medical Leave Act. A "serious medical
condition" might include hospitalization
of at least one night or "continuing
treatment" - such as incapacity for
more than three days with at least one
visit to the doctor and additional treatment,
or a pregnancy-related condition so
serious that it prevented the worker
to a party that a lawsuit has been brought
against him or her, normally by personally
delivering a summons and a copy of the
resolution of a lawsuit or claim prior
and/or other benefits that an employer
may offer to a terminated employee to
temporarily offset the employee's job
loss. Also known as a "separation package".
discrimination (also known as "gender
discrimination") occurs when an employer
treats an employee differently because
of the employee's sex or because of
a characteristic that is related to
the employee's sex.
harassment occurs when there is a "hostile
work environment" - which is "severe
or pervasive" unwelcome sexual conduct
related to the workplace, such as sex
jokes, posters or flyers that make fun
of women, unwanted touching, requests
for sexual favors, comments about a
person's body or sexuality, or actual
sexual assault or rape. Sex harassment
also occurs when an employer denies
an employee a promotion or fires an
employee if the employee doesn't engage
in sex with him or her.
term for all persons convicted of crimes
involving sex, including rape, molestation,
orientation discrimination occurs when
an employer treats an employee differently
because the employee is gay, lesbian,
or bisexual. Although there is no federal
law that protects employees from discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation,
some states and cities have laws that
prohibit discrimination because an employee
is gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
lease for space in a shopping center.
Most shopping center leases are "percentage"
or unpaid time off from work for employees
who are ill or injured.
for "without which it could not be
It usually refers to a physical condition
from which something must logically
for "location." This usually refers
to where the crime occurred. Situs can
often determine where the court allows
jurisdiction of the matter.
someone verbally lies about you to another
trial court for cases with relatively
modest sums in dispute. Attorneys are
not allowed to appear in small claims
copulation by force and without consent.
from the federal government for retirement,
death, or disability. It is exempt property
In family law, the performance of some
formal act or ceremony by which a man
and woman marry and become husband and
unlawful act of inducing another to
commit a crime.
representation by an attorney at court
that he or she appears specially for
the defendant for this appearance only.
A special appearance will not obligate
the attorney past that one appearance.
A special appearance is different from
a "general appearance" in which the
attorney is committed to represent the
client in all future proceedings in
criminal prosecutions, the right of
a defendant to demand that trial commence
within a specified time from the date
of incarceration. To hold a defendant
in jail without trial is a violation
of the "due process" provision of the
Fifth Amendment. Charges must be dismissed
and the defendant released if the period
expires without trial.
court order that one spouse pay money
to the other spouse for his or her support
either during the divorce proceeding
or after the divorce has been granted.
The situation of having no citizenship
or right to enter any country.
pre-trial meeting before a judge in
which the prosecutor and the defense
lawyer meet to confer about the evidence,
exchange exhibits and schedule the structure
of the upcoming trial.
law enacted by a state legislature or
law prescribing time limitations on
the right to bring a lawsuit.
sexual intercourse of an adult with
another below the legal age of majority.
In almost all states the age of majority
is 18 or older.
court order delaying a court eviction
order for some limited period of time.
court order delaying the execution of
a convicted felon.
adoption of a parent's child by a new
spouse of that parent. Generally, stepparent
adoptions are much less complicated
than other adoptions.
agreement between the parties (and usually
their lawyers) made in court and presented
to the judge, who will make an order
based on the matters agreed to. For
example, if the parties stipulate to
a certain amount of spousal support,
the court will make an order consistent
with that stipulation.
lawful search for a concealed weapon
by patting down a person who is suspected
of a crime. The objective is to protect
the officer from concealed weapons.
Outside of a "pat down," any further
search by law enforcement requires a
warrant or sufficient probable cause.
theory of law which holds certain sellers
and manufacturers liable for products
that cause harm without requiring the
plaintiff to prove negligence on the
part of the seller or manufacturer.
agreement wherein one party agrees to
pay a sum of money over a period of
time to settle a case as opposed to
a lump sum payment.
crime of encouraging, influencing or
assisting another to commit perjury.
tenant who subleases his or her tenancy
to someone else.
person who subleases a tenancy from
court order demanding a witness to appear
in court to testify. A subpoena can
also include a demand to produce documents
and records at the time of trial.
bring a lawsuit against another person.
written summary, usually in pamphlet
form, of the terms and conditions of
an employee benefit plan, such as a
health benefit or retirement benefit
motion during litigation and prior to
trial, where one party asks the court
to rule in its favor based upon facts
which are undisputed.
document issued by a court informing
a person that he has been sued and has
a stated number of days to file response
papers to avoid a default judgment.
person hired by the employer to supervise the work
performed by employees at the workplace. Sometimes
known as a "manager".
name used to describe a county trial
used by a judge to determine how much
child and/or spousal support to award.
Support guidelines will generally take
into account the money earned by each
spouse and, in the case of child support,
the amount of time the child spends
with each spouse.
highest court in the United States.
The court is empowered to be the final
judge of state and federal law. The
court has the power to hear constitutional
questions and appeals from state constitution
act of giving oneself over to law enforcement.
A surrender is usually arranged by the
refers to a jail sentence which is ordered
by a court to be stayed pending the
completion of probation or some further
action to be taken by the court.
suspension of deportation
An application which no longer exists
under the immigration laws. It granted
a person permanent residency because
of the person's long standing residency
and exceptional hardship which would
result if he were required to leave.
This immigration benefit is now referred
to as "cancellation of removal".