What Are Some Definitions of Common Legal Terms?


Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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