criminal law and procedure

a fortiori

A Latin term meaning literally 'from [the] stronger'. Translated into English and used in the particular context of legal writing, the term often means 'from [the] stronger [argument]'. If a particular fact is true, then one can infer that a second...

a priori

Definition

A Latin term meaning "from what comes before." In legal arguments, a priori generally means that a particular idea is taken as a given.

a priori assumption

An a priori assumption is an assumption that is presumed to be true without any assessment of the facts or without further proof. A priori is a Latin term that refers to a theoretical deduction made on a subject without a precise and detailed...

a.k.a.

A.K.A is the abbreviation of “also known as”. It is often used to specify a party’s aliases or nicknames in a case.

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]

ab initio

Definition

A Latin term meaning "from the beginning." Used to indicate that some fact existed from the start of a relevant time period.

abatement ab initio

Abatement ab initio is a rule in criminal law which negates a conviction if the defendant died before they could exhaust all appeals. In People v. Mount, a California Court of Appeals described the rule as dismissing or remanding a criminal...

abduction

Abduction means the taking of a person against their will, generally by means of persuasion, fraud, or force. Some jurisdictions also require that the abductee (the person who is abducted) be a child or that that the abductor intend to marry...

abet

Definition

To criminally assist another person in the commission of a crime including in planning a crime, escaping from a crime, or in the actual commission of the crime.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S....

abscond

Abscond means leaving a jurisdiction secretly or suddenly, e.g. to avoid service of process, arrest, or prosecution; or leaving with another person's money or property. Absconding is generally a criminal offense which may lead to imprisonment...

absolute disparity

Definition

A calculation used to analyze a claim that a jury pool did not represent a fair cross-section of the community. Calculated by subtracting the percentage of a group in the jury pool from the percentage of that group in the general population...

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