criminal law


Generally, a witness in a trial commits perjury when they knowingly and intentionally lie about a material issue. The precise definition of this crime varies by jurisdiction. Federal law prohibits perjury, 18 U.S.C. § 1621, as well as other false...


A perpetrator is a person who committed a crime.

In the instance of a joint crime (if more than 2 persons are involved in a crime) it is necessary to clarify the criminal liability and punishment among the defendants. The...

petit larceny

Larceny of property that is worth less than some amount set by statute. The cutoff line for petit larceny often ranges between $100 and $500.

See Grand larceny (contrast).

petty larceny

Petty larceny or petty theft (commonly spelled petit larceny) is a term used to describe thefts where the value of the property taken is low. States often set a specific dollar amount as a ceiling for petty larceny charges. For example, in Oklahoma,...


Phishing is a type of computer and internet fraud that involves the creation of false digital resources intended to resemble those of legitimate business entities, such as a website or email, and dissemination of seemingly...

phone and telemarketing fraud

Phone and Telemarketing Fraud: an overview

Phone and telemarketing fraud refers to any type of scheme in which a criminal communicates with the potential victim via the telephone. Because many reputable companies use telemarketing to conduct business...


Pilferage is the act of stealing or an instance of stealing. The term also refers to the item or items stolen. See larceny; theft.

[Last updated in August of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]


“Pimp” is a non-legal term used to refer to a person who procures a prostitute for a customer and receives earnings from the prostitute’s services. Pimps are also commonly referred to as “panderers” and “procurers."


Pinkerton liability

Pinkerton liability allows an actor to be held liable for substantive crimes committed by his coconspirators in certain circumstances. A defendant can be held vicariously liable for a substantive offense committed by another member of a conspiracy if...


In legal usage, piracy can mean either:

1) crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, or similar violent and destructive activities on the high seas. The trial and punishment of such pirates may be under international law, or under the laws of the...