criminal law


Someone who personally claims to enforce law and order, but lacks legal authority to do so. Vigilantes operate by using actual or threatened force, and are distinguished from people who simply watch out for criminal behavior and report it to the...

Vigilante justice

Behavior that resembles or matches that of vigilantes. Vigilante justice often describes the actions of a single person or group of people who claim to enforce the law but lack the legal authority to do so. However, the term can also describe a...


See Vigilante justice.

Voluntary manslaughter

Killing another person without deliberation, premeditation, or malice aforethought. Committed while in the heat of passion, or else, as a result of some kind of adequate provocation.


An adjective used to describe behavior that is either particularly inhuman (as in cruel and wanton behavior), or behavior that is lewd or bawdy (in a sexual context).


Warrantless means that government officers carry out a search or arrest without a warrant or any other legal authorization. The requirement of a warrant serves to protect individuals’ privacy interests against unreasonable governmental...

wet reckless

Wet reckless is an informal term for a plea bargain reached where someone charged with a DUI receives a lesser charge usually for reckless driving. The charge is called “wet” because reckless charges do not include driving under the influence...

white-collar crime


White-collar crime generally encompasses a variety of nonviolent crimes usually committed in commercial situations for financial gain.

The following is an inclusive list of white-collar offenses : antitrust violations, bankruptcy...


The term willful refers to acts which are intentional, conscious, voluntary, and designed to achieve a particular result. The meaning of the term “willful” depends on the context in which it is used. For example:

In the context of...

wire fraud

Wire fraud occurs when interstate wirings are used in furtherance of a criminal act. In order for a defendant to be convicted under 18 U.S.C. 1343 for committing wire fraud, the follow elements must be satisfied: (1) the defendant must have been...