Legal Term Glossary

General Legal Terms

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Nolo Contendere

This plea, also known as plea of no contest, means the person charged, the defendant, is not admitting guilt and not denying it. The defendant is saying that they do not wish to contest the charges brought by the state. Upon a plea of no contest, the judicial officer may find the defendant guilty and enter a judgment of guilt.

Oath

A pledge, promise, or declaration to provide true information in court or in an affidavit.

Opinion

Written statement issued to report the decision of an appellate court.

Parties

Persons, partnerships, corporations, businesses, or governmental organizations involved in legal proceedings.

Petit (Trial) Jury

The group of people selected to decide the facts and render a verdict in a civil or criminal trial.

Petition

Written request to the court asking for specific legal action.

Petition for Review

An application asking an appellate court to examine a ruling or decision.

Plea

Response of a defendant to the criminal charges stated; the plea is usually guilty or not guilty.

Plea Agreement

A process between the accused and the prosecution to negotiate a mutually satisfactory outcome of the case.

Points of Law

The legal questions that a case may raise.

Precinct

Geographic subdivision of city, town or county, used to describe the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace or for election purposes.

Preliminary Hearing

Court proceeding used to determine whether there is enough evidence against a person charged with a felony to proceed to trial.

Presiding Judge

Judge who handles the administrative duties of the court. Depending on the court, this judge may also hear cases.

Pro Per

Appearing in court for oneself, as in the case of one who does not use the services of a lawyer.

Probable Cause

Reasonable cause; there is more evidence for than against.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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