BASIC LEGAL VOCABULARY By Iveth Jaramillo Leonor Abrego
ATTORNEY Another name for lawyer. A person who is hired to counsel and manage a case that goes to court.
MISDEMEANOR A less serious crime that usually results in less than a year in jail time or no jail time at all.
FELONY A serious crime that results in over a year in jail. Examples of felonies are murder, rape and kidnapping.
DEFENDANT The person who is being accused of a crime.
PLAINTIFF The person who files the complaint against the defendant .
ALIBI To be in a different location during the time in which the crime was committed. Somebody being accused of a crime will want to have this so he can prove that it was impossible for him to have done the crime.
CROSS EXAMINATION When the lawyer for the opposing side questions the witness in a trial.
PROSECUTOR The lawyer whose job it is to decide who is being tried for the crime committed. He also presents the evidence against this person in court.
PLEA BARGAIN An agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor in which the defendant admits to doing the crime so he can get a shorter sentence.
SUBPOENA The command by the court of the government that a person appears in court at a certain time to give information and answer questions about the matter at hand.
TESTIMONY The evidence given by a witness in court under oath
SETTLEMENT An agreement between the two opposing parties in a certain lawsuit .