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Term Definition
Common Law A system of law based on precedent and customs.
Precedent A ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case.
Statute A law written by a legislature branch.
Plainiff A person or party filing a lawsuit.
Defendant An individual or group being sued or charged with a crime.
Felony A serious crime such as murder, rape, kidnapping, or robbery.
Misdemeanor A relatively minor offense such as vandalism or stealing inexpensive items.
Larceny The unlawful taking away of another person's property with the intent never to return it.
Robbery The taking of property from a person's possession by using force ot threats.
Burglary Unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure.
Lawsuit A legal action in which a person or group sues to collect damages from some harm that is done.
Tort Wrongful acts for which an injured party has the right to sue.
Libel Written untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation.
Constitutional Law Branch of law dealing with formation, construction, and interpretation of constitutions.
Stare Decisis The practice of using earlier judicial rulings as a basis for deciding cases.
Writ of Habeas Corpus A court order that requries police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why they are holding the person.
Bill of Attainder A law tat punishes a person accused of crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court.
Ex Post Facto Law A law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed.
Due Process of Law Procedures established by law and guaranteed by the Constitution.
Search Warrent A court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspect's home or business and take specific items as evidence.
Double Jeopardy a person tried from the same crime twice and found not guilty.
Grand Jury a group of citizens that decide weather there is sufficient evidence to arrest someone
Plea Bargaining negotiation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.
Bail a sum of money an arrested person pays to a court to release from jail awaiting trial.

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