The law pertains to everyone, whether or not you understand the terms in which the law is written. This is why you should become familiar with the wide array of law terms which are used currently. Legal terminology can sound like a foreign language to most who did not go to school to study law. There are entire dictionaries published solely for legal terms and they burst at the binding due to the abundance of law terms in existence which span multiple languages.
If you do not know law terminology, you are unable to know the law and, therefore, more likely to break it, even if you are unaware you are doing so. There are plenty of online sources to turn to if you wish to begin understanding these elusive law terms. Here, I will outline some of the more important, and commonly used words in the legal system.
1. Acquittal. This is the verdict of a jury which proclaims the defendant of a case not guilty, or that there is insufficient evidence to convict.
2. Affidavit. This is a written or printed statement made under oath, before a court of law.
3. Burden of Proof. One of the regularly used law terms, this is the duty to prove disputed facts in a case.
4. Counsel. This is the educated legal advise given either by a private attorney to a client, or a district attorney to one being represented.
5. De Facto. This is one of the many Latin law terms, and it translates into “in fact.” In fact meaning as a matter of empirical fact and not of law.
6. Habeus Corpus. Another Latin term meaning, “you have the body.” This is a doctrine which states that law enforcement officials are responsible for producing the the prisoner to court. Officials are also responsible for justifying continued confinement.
7. Interrogatories are a series of written questions which are to be written and answered under oath.
8. Plea. This is one of the law terms which pertains to whether the defendant of a criminal case is entering the case claiming to be guilty, or not guilty.
9. A Subpoena is a written command, under the courts authority, which is issued to an individual to appear and give testimony in court on a specific date.
10. A Writ is a written court order which instructs a person to take, or refrain from taking, a given act.