What Are Some Definitions of Common Legal Terms?

What Are Some Definitions of Common Legal Terms?

Common legal terms include words such as "admissible," which is used to describe evidence that is approved for use by a jury or judge in criminal and civil court cases; "affidavit," a written statement made while under oath; and "indictment," which is a formal charge handed down by a grand jury. This charge is made after there is sufficient evidence that a defendant committed a trial-worthy crime, and it is mainly used for felony cases.

Other common legal terms include "docket," "judgment" and "due process." A docket is a record that contains the details and history of a case in chronological order, from the date of the offense to the summarization of court proceedings. A judgment is the official court decision that serves to resolve a dispute between named parties in a lawsuit.

Due process is the constitutional guarantee, in criminal law, that a defendant receives an impartial, fair trial. In civil law, due process protects a plaintiff from the adverse actions of defendants, including damage to property or threats. Another common legal term is "lien," which is a hold on a specific type of property or asset until the payment of a debt is secured or an obligation is fulfilled.