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Definitions

Plaintiff

A person who brings charges in court.

Defendant

A person who is charged with a criminal act or civil wrong-doing.

Contract

An agreement between two or more parties(a party can be a person, a group, business, government, etc..)

Breach of Contract

occurs when one party fails to live up to the terms of a contract

Tort

A wrongful act for which an injured person has the right to sue.

Negligence

the trait of neglecting responsibilities and lacking concern.

Damages

monetary award to compensate for the loss caused by a tort.

Preponderance of the Evidence

Carefully studying all evidence at a trial and decides if a defendent is liable or not liable.

Petit Jury

A trial jury, usually consisiting of 6 or 12 people, that considers evidence at a trial and decides if the defendent is innocent or guilty.

Out of Court Settlement

An agreement made privately between the parties to a civil suit before a trial court decision.

Defendent

A person who is charged with a criminal act or civil wrong-doing.

Prosecutor

a government official who conducts criminal prosecutions on behalf of the state(attorney).

Reasonable Doubt

when a juror or jury is not 100% positive of guilt or innocence in a trial.

Felony

A major crime, such as murder, bank robbery, or bribery.

Misdemeanor

A minor crime that is usually punishable by fine or less than 1 year in jail.

Grand Jury

A group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether or not there is sufficent evidence to bring the person to trial.

Indictment

A formal charge by a grand jury.

Probable Cause

reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion

Presumption of Innocence

In the United States a person is considered not guilty until proven in a court of law.

Plea Bargaining

The process by which a defendent pleads guilty to a lesser crime that the one they are charged with an order to recive a lesser sentence.

Habeas Corpus

A legal document that requires a person to appear before a court or judge.

Subpoena

a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony.

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