criminal law


Set of illegal activities aimed at commercial profit that may be disguised as legitimate business deals. Common examples include fraud, extortion, bribery, and actual or threatened violence.


The money paid to or demanded by someone in exchange for the release of a kidnapped person or stolen property. It may also refer to the verb of demanding or paying the money to release the kidnapped person. In California, the act of kidnapping and...


A crime at common law defined as unlawful sexual intercourse with someone without their consent and by means of fear, force or coercion.

reasonable doubt

Sufficient doubt on the part of jurors for acquittal of a defendant based on a lack of evidence.

reasonable suspicion


Reasonable suspicion is a standard used in criminal procedure. Reasonable suspicion is used in determining the legality of a police officer's decision to perform a search.

When an officer stops someone to search the person, courts...

receiving stolen property

Receiving stolen property is a crime that a person is guilty of when the person receives stolen property that is known to be stolen and the person has the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

reckless driving

Operating an automobile in a reckless manner. In most jurisdictions, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. Determining whether an individual’s operation of an automobile constitutes reckless driving is often a fact intensive inquiry. To illustrate, New...


To cease to be bound by an obligation or to concede a right. A release usually takes the form of a voluntary private contract between parties to cease the obligation or concede the right. California Civil Code § 1541 upholds...

release on one's own recognizance

A “release on one’s one recognizance” is a court's decision to allow a person charged with a crime to remain at liberty pending the trial, without having to post bail. Also sometimes referred to as “O.R.,” “R.O.R.,” or judicial public bail...


When a person who is a party to the planning of a crime makes a timely repudiation and takes steps considered sufficient for neutralizing any assistance or other material that the person provided before the crime is actually committed.