criminal law and procedure

In Pro Per

See: pro per


Sexual contact between close blood relatives, including brothers and sisters, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, or aunts or uncles with nephews or nieces; 18 states also include copulation or cohabitation between first cousins in...


Something that has begun but has not been completed, such as a potential crime for which all the elements have not been accomplished, or a contract that has not been formalized.

Inchoate Offense

A type of crime completed by taking a punishable step towards the commission of another crime. The basic inchoate offenses are attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy.

The crime allegedly intended is called the target offense. Except for...


To suggest, charge, accuse, show, or admit involvement in a crime.

Indecent Exposure

Revealing one's genitals under circumstances likely to offend others. Exposure is indecent under the law whenever a reasonable person would or should know that his act may be seen by others--for example, in a public place or through an open window--and...

Indeterminate Sentence

A prison sentence that consists of a range of years (such as "five to ten years"). The state parole board holds hearings that determine when, during that range, the convicted person will be eligible for parole. The principle behind indeterminate...

Indictable Offense

A crime that the prosecutor can charge by bringing evidence of it to the grand jury. These are serious crimes that include murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, grand theft, robbery, burglary, arson, conspiracy, and fraud, as well as attempts to...


Impoverished, or unable to afford the necessities of life. A defendant who is indigent has a constitutional right to court-appointed representation, according to a 1963 Supreme Court decision, Gideon v. Wainright.

Infamous crime

At common law, a crime involving fraud or dishonesty.