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54 Cards in this Set

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law
a rule of conduct, generally found enacted in the form of a statute, the proscribes or mandates certain forms of behavior.
statutory law
Written or codified law, the "law on the books" as enacted by a government body or agency having the power to make laws
penal code
the written, organized, and compiled form of the criminal laws of a jurisdiction
case law
the body of judicial precedent, historically built on legal reasoning and past interpretations of statutory laws, that serves as a guide to decision making, especially in the courts.
common law
Law originating from usage and custom rather than from written statutes. The term refers to an unwritten body of judicial opinion, originally developed by English courts, that is based on nonstatutory customs, traditions, and precedents that help guide decision making.
rule of law
The maxim that an ordrely society must be governed by established principles and known codes that are applied uniformly and fairly to all of its members.
jurisprudence
The philosophy of law, the science and study of law
criminal law
The body of rules and regulations tha define and specify the nature of and punishments for offenses of a public nature or for wrongs committed against the state or society. Also called penal law.
substantive criminal law
the part of the law that defines crimes and specifies punishments.
procedural law
the part of the law that specifies the methods to be used in enforcing substantive law
civil law
the branch of modern law that governs relationships between parties
tort
a wrongful act, damage, or injury not involving a breach of contract. Also, a private or civil wrong or injury.
class-action lawsuit
a lawsuit filed by one or more people on behalf of themselves and a larger group of people "who are similarly situated."
compensatory damages
Damages recovered in payment for an actual injury or economic loss.
punitive damages
damages requested or awarded in a civl lawsuit when the defendant's willful acts were malicious, violent, oppressive, fraudulent, wanton, or grossly reckless
gross negligence
the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another.
precedent
a legal principle that ensures that previous judicial decisions are authoritatively considered and incorporated into further cases
stare decisis
a legal principle that requires that in subsequent cases on similar issues of law and fact, courts be bound by their own earlier decisions and by those of higher courts having jurisdiction over them. The term literally means, "standing by decided matters."
felony
a criminal offense punishable by death of by incarceration in a prison facility for at least one year
misdemeanor
an offense punishable by incarceratin, usually in a local confinement facility, for a period whose upper limiit is prescribed by statute in a given jursidiction, typically one year or less.
offense
a violation of the criminal law, also, in some jurisdictions, a minor crime, such as jaywalking that is sometimes described as ticketable.
infraction
a minor violation of state statute or local ordinance punishable by a fine or other penalty r by a specified, usually limited, term of incarceration
treason
a US citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the US. Also, the attempt to overthrow the government of the society of which one is a member.
espionage
the gathering, transmitting, or losing of information related to the national defense in such a manner that the information becomes available to enemies of the US and may be used to their advantage.
inchoate offense
an offense not yet completed. Also, an offense that consists of an action or conduct that is a step toward the intended commission of another offense
actus reus
an act in violation of the law, or a guily act
mens rea
the state of mind that accompanies a criminal act, or a guilty mind
reckless behavior
activity that increases the risk of harm
criminal negligence
behavior in which a person fails to reasonably perceive substantial and unjustifiable risks of dangerous consequences
motive
a person's reason for committing a crime
motive
a persons' reason for committing a crime
strict liability
liability without fault or intention. Does not require mens rea
concurrence
the coexistence of an act of violation of the law and a culpable mental state
legal cause
a legally recognizabel cause. A legal cuase must be demonstrated in court in order to hold an individual criminally liable for causing harm
ex post facto
latin for "after the fact." The Constitution prohibits the enactment of ex post facto laws, which make acts committed before the laws in questions were passed punishable as crimes
attendant circumstances
the facts surrounding an event
element (of a crime)
in a specific crime, one of the essential features of a crime, as specified by law or statute
corpus delicti
the facts that show that a crime has occurred. the rterm literally means, "the body of the crime."
defense (to a criminal charge)
evidence and arguments offered by a defendant and his or her attorney to show why the defendant should not be held liable for a criminal charge.
alibi
a statement or contention by an individual charged with a crime that he or she was so distant when the crime was committed, or so engaged in other provable activities, that his or her participation in the commission of that crime was impossible
justification
a legal defense in which the defendant admits to committing the actin quiestion but claims it was necessary in order to avoid some greater evil.
excuse
a legal defense in which the defendant claims that some personal condition or circumstance at the time of the act was such taht he or she should not be held accountable under the criminal law
procedural defense
a defense that claims that the defendant was in some significant way discriminated against in the judicial process or that some important aspect of judicial procedures was not properly followed in the investigation or prosecution of the crime charged.
self-defense
the protection of oneslef or of one's property from the immediate risk of unlawful injury. Alos, the justification that the person who committed an act that would otherwise constitute an offense reasonably believed that the act was necessary to protect self or property from immediate danger
reasonable force
a degree of force that is appropriate in a given situation and is not excessive. Also, the minimum degree of force necessary to protect oneself, one's property, a third party, or the property of another in the fact of a substantial threat
alter ego rule
in some jurisdictions, a rule of law that holds that a person can only defend a third party under circumstances and only to the degree that the third party could act on his own behalf
cultural defense
a defense to a criminal charge in which the defendant's culture is taken into account in judging his or her culpability
insanity defense
a legal defense based on claims of mental illness or mental incapacity
M'Naghten rule
a rule for determining insanity, which askes whether the defendant knew what he or she was doing or whether the defendant knew that what he or she was doing was wrong.
guilty but mentally ill (GMBI)
a verdict, equivalent to a finding of "guilty" that establishes that the defendant, although mentally ill, was in sufficient possession of his or her faculties to be morally blameworthy for his or her acts.
diminished capacity
a defense based on claims of a metal condition that may be insufficient to exonerate the defendant of guilt but that may be relevant to specific mental elements of certain crimes or degrees of crime.
incompetent to stand trial
In a criminal proceeding, a finding by a court that as a result of mental illness, defect, or disability, a defendant is incapable of understanding the nature of the charges against him or her, of consulting with his attorney, and of aiding in his own defense.
entrapment
an improper or illegal inducement to crime by agents of law enforcement. Also, a defense that may be raised when such inducements have occurred.
double jeopardy
a common law and constitutional prohibition against a second trial for the same offense