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Criminal Law Glossary of Terms

Assault & Battery: The threat or use of force which causes the victim to have a reasonable apprehension or the result of imminent harmful or offensive contact.

Domestic Violence: A person willfully inflicted bodily injury upon their spouse, or the person they are co-habiting with, and the bodily injury resulted in a traumatic condition.

Drug Offenses: A person exercised dominance and control over a controlled substance, the person knew of its presence, and the person knew of its nature as a controlled substance; and the substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as a controlled substance.

Drunk Driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, medication, or prescription drug that impairs the driver's ability to operate the vehicle.

Embezzlement: The fraudulent taking of personal property with which on has been entrusted, most often involving a fiduciary. The necessary criminal intent is present after taking possession of the property.

Extortion: The act of obtaining property or inducing an action by illegal means, including force or coercion.

Fraud: A knowing or reckless misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a necessary fact with the purpose of inducing another to act against his or her own interests.

Homicide: Homicide is the killing of one human being by another. Homicide includes murder and manslaughter, which are unlawful, and the acts of excusable and justifiable homicides, which are lawful. Consequences for the conviction of murder may potentially include: death, life imprisonment without parole, some other amount of jail time with the possibility of parole, or probation depending on the actual crime of which someone is convicted.

Illegal Possession of Weapons: A person has actual or constructive possession of a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, etc.

Molestation: A person who commits any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body of a child, with the specific intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or the child.

Probation Violation: A violation of probation can lead to revocation of probation and the imposition of a custodial (jail or prison) sentence.

Rape: Sexual intercourse by force or threat of force. The act of intercourse was against the will of the victim; and the act was accomplished by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful injury to the alleged victim or another person. Consequences for the conviction of rape may potentially include: life imprisonment without parole, some other amount of jail time with the possibility of parole, or probation.

Sex Crimes: A lewd or lascivious act upon or with a child. Sex crimes also include unwanted sexual comments, touching, or gestures to a child or an adult. Sex crimes include rape (sexual intercourse against the will of the victim), sexual assault, and molestation, to name a few.

Theft: The taking of property, which is not your own, with the intent of depriving the true owner possession.

Vehicular Manslaughter: Driving a vehicle and unintentionally but unlawfully killing another human being. Consequences for the conviction of vehicular manslaughter may potentially include: a term of imprisonment, probation, loss of driving privileges, either for a set amount of time or permanently, and/or fines depending on the actual crime of which someone is convicted.

Preparing to Meet With a Criminal Defense Attorney

To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please follow the link below.

Preparing to Meet With a Criminal Defense Attorney

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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