Texas Legal Definitions

Texas Legal Definitions

Burden of proof: The legal standard that a party must meet to prove its case; Also known as the “standard of proof”. In criminal cases, the burden of proof lies with the Public Prosecutor`s Office, which must prove that the accused is undoubtedly guilty. The defence has no burden of proof. Admissible: Reference to legally obtained evidence that a judge or jury can consider to establish the innocence or guilt of the accused. We do not verify the legal accuracy or sufficiency of the information you provide, draw legal conclusions, give opinions about the forms you choose, your related rights, or apply the law to your situation. If you need legal advice on a particular matter, you should contact a licensed attorney, including the one you select in the Texas Legal Attorney Finder outside of this investigative system. Texas Legal is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice. Your use of our services and this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and us, nor does it constitute legal advice. Any information you provide through this website is not protected as confidential and is not protected by solicitor-client privilege. Unless you are otherwise represented by a lawyer, you represent yourself in all legal matters you conduct through the use of our services or website. Do not send or add to your request information that you consider confidential or privileged. Statement: An oral statement before a legally authorized representative.

Testimonies are often given by potential witnesses in a case and used for investigative purposes or as evidence later in the trial. Miranda Rights/Warning: A legal statement that, according to the law, must be read by anyone arrested, detained or interrogated by the authorities. These rights (established by Miranda v. 1966. Arizona) concern a person`s right not to incriminate himself and to declare that (1) a person has the right to remain silent, (2) anything he says can be used against him in court, (3) a person has the right to ask a lawyer before answering questions, and (4) a lawyer is provided, if the accused cannot afford one. Deletion: The legal procedure for sealing criminal records from the public. Non-disclosure agreement: in criminal matters, a legally binding contract between all parties that undertakes to keep certain information about the trial and conviction secret and private; Also known as a confidentiality agreement. Misappropriation of funds: The fraudulent act of illegally transferring assets of another person or business – such as money or property – into personal possession for the benefit of embezzlement. Exclusionary rule: An act stipulating that evidence unlawfully obtained in violation of the constitutional rights of the accused is not admissible before a judge and jury. For example, if the police did not have an arrest warrant during the search and seizure of drugs at the accused`s home, any evidence they found may not be admissible in court.

Please read these Terms of Use carefully (and any other terms or policies provided by Texas Legal on www.TexasLegal.org and all related features, services and information offered by Texas Legal on or in full-length on the Site, including updates, collectively, the “Terms”). These Terms govern your access to and use of the Site. By using the Site, you confirm that you are of legal age to comply with these Terms. If you violate or do not agree with these Terms, your access to and use of the Site is not permitted. For any suit, action or proceeding arising out of these Terms, you and we consent and may submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state courts of Texas and the federal court located in Travis County, Texas, and neither you nor we may submit thereto, and hereby waive any venue based plea, Inconvenience to the Forum, or lack of personal jurisdiction in any claim or action filed pursuant to the foregoing. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED THIS CLAUSE AND ACCEPT ITS TERMS. Litigation: A civil, criminal or other legal action. The parties to the proceedings (plaintiff and defendant) are called “litigants”. Counterfeiting: Illegal counterfeiting or imitation of something for the purpose of committing fraud or deceiving anyone; usually in terms of money. Hearing: A court case in which evidence and arguments are presented to a judge to resolve a point of law. A hearing is different from a trial that takes place before a jury. Charge: A formal charge or indictment filed by a prosecutor against a person accused of committing a specific crime; known as “pressed charges”.

Police custody: When a person is lawfully arrested, detained or detained by the police or other judicial authority to ensure that he or she appears in court to respond to a criminal complaint. First appearance: A preliminary hearing, usually held within 24 hours of arrest, during which a judge informs the accused of the basis for arrest, discusses his rights, assists him in appointing a lawyer if necessary, and considers bail; Also known as the “first appearance”. The first appearance is different from the charge, in which an accused must plead. Drug offences: Possession, cultivation, distribution, manufacture or trafficking of illegal controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, etc. (Learn more about drug offences.) After being charged with a crime, there are many new terms and phrases that a person is likely to encounter during their journey through the criminal justice system. While the meaning of these terms is clear to lawyers and judges who have practiced law all their lives, they can make you confused and scared. That`s why we`ve provided this glossary to help defendants and their families better understand the legal process and the jargon involved. The inclusion of an attorney on Texas Legal`s website does not constitute a guarantee or prediction as to the outcome of your legal matter, including the amount of reduced fees. If you find any errors or outdated information, please let us know at attorneys@texaslegal.org. Arbitrary arrest/detention: unlawful detention of another person or restriction of personal liberty through the use of force, threat or deception without lawful authority. May be performed by a peace officer, citizen or other person.

Improper detention over a long period of time or if it is moved over a longer period may constitute abduction. Homicide: A legal term for the murder of one person by another, lawful or illegal. Types of homicide include: criminal murder (murder and manslaughter), excusable or justified murder (self-defence), negligent or reckless murder, and vehicular homicide. To define a legal term, enter a word or phrase below. This list of commonly used legal terms refers to criminal law and is general in nature. It`s impossible to compile a list of all the legal terminology used in each case on a single page, so we`ve only included the most common phrases and words you`re most likely to hear. If you would like further legal advice, please feel free to contact our experienced Criminal Defense Office in Houston, Texas. Rape: Unlawful sexual activity with another person without their consent and usually by force. Common types of rape include rape, legal rape, and marital rape. Manslaughter: A type of homicide in which malice played no role in the murder of the victim, although negligence may have done so. Incidental: A person who is not physically present at the time of the offence, but who intentionally assists another person in committing a crime, such as by giving advice to the offender or helping to conceal evidence. Plea bargaining: The respondent`s official response to the charges against him: guilty, not guilty or no dispute.