criminal law and procedure

successive sentences

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryIn criminal law, when a defendant has been convicted of more than one crime, the judge's ruling that the sentences for each conviction will be served one after the other, rather than at the same time (...


In a criminal case, most evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution is inadmissible at trial, due to the exclusionary rule. Evidence that has been kept out in this manner is said to have been “suppressed.”

suppression of evidence

1) A judge may "supress" evidence (or not allow it in the trial) because it is inadmissible for some reason. This is proper and permissible.

2) A prosecutor in a criminal case who "supresses" evidence if they hide or withhold it. This is...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe act of observing persons or groups either with notice or their knowledge (overt surveillance) or without their knowledge (covert surveillance). Intrusive surveillance by private citizens may give rise...

suspended sentence

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA criminal sentence that is not enforced unless the defendant fails to meet conditions imposed by the judge (such as a requirement to make restitution to victims or perform certain services) or commits...



To cheat a person out of money or property through fraud or deceit.

Terry Stop / Stop and Frisk

A terry stop is another name for stop and frisk; the name was generated from the U.S Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio. When a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that an individual is armed, engaged, or about to be engaged, in criminal conduct,...



Oral or written evidence given by a competent witness, under oath, at trial or in an affidavit or deposition.

Third-degree instruction


An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Also called Allen charge, dynamite charge, nitroglycerine charge, and shotgun charge.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g...

trial court


A court of original jurisdiction where evidence and testimony are first introduced, received, and considered. Findings of fact and law are made in the trial court, and the findings of law may be appealed to a higher court that has the...