28 terms

Street Law: Chapter 1

Vocabulary of Chapter 1
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Terms in this set (...)

amendment
one of the provisions of the U.S. Constitution enacted after the original Constitution became law; an addition to an existing document or plan
attorney
lawyer
civil action
a noncriminal lawsuit, brought to enforce a right or redress a wrong
civil law
all law that does not involve criminal matters, such as tort and contract law; civil law usually deals with private rights of individuals, groups, or businesses
criminal law
the branch of law dealing with crimes and their punishments
defendant
the person against whom a claim is made; in a civil suit, the defendant is the person being sued, in a criminal case, the defendant is the person charged with committing a crime
felony
a serious criminal offense punishable by a person sentenced to more than one year
judicial review
the process by which courts decide whether the laws passed by Congress or state legislatures are constitutional
jurisprudence
the study of law
jury
in a legal proceeding, a body of men and women selected to hear and examine certain facts and determine the truth
law
rules/regulations that give authority to the government to safely protect the rights of citizens to prevent crime
lawsuit
litigation between two parties
limited government
a basic principle of our consitutional system; it limits government to powers provided to it by the people
misdemeanor
a criminal offense, less serious than a felony, punishable by a prison sentence of one year or less
plaintiff
in a civil case, the injured party who brings legal action against the alleged wrongdoer
preponderance of evidence
usually the standard proof used in a civil suit; the burden of proof that a party must meet in order to win the lawsuit; to win, a party must provide evidence that is more convincing than the other side's evidence
prosecutor
the state or federal government's attorney in a criminal case
reasonable doubt/suspicion
evidence that justifies an officer in stopping and questioning an individual believed to be involved in criminal activity; based on less evidence than probable cause but more than a mere hunch
statutes
written laws enacted by legislatures
Supreme Court
the highest court in the United States
Human Rights
rights everyone has because they are human
unconstitutional
not in agreement with the Constitution
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which guarantee basic individual rights to all persons in the United States.
beyond a reasonable doubt
the level of proof required to convict a person of a crime. It does not mean "convinced 100 percent," but does mean there are no reasonable doubts as to guilt.
separation of powers
the division of power among the branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial)
checks and balances
the power of each of the three branches of government to limit the other branches' power, so as to prevent an abuse
veto
prohibit; in government, the veto is the power of the chief executive to prevent enactment of a bill
federalism
the division of powers between the states and the federal government