criminal law and procedure

suppression of evidence

Suppression of evidence is a pretrial proceeding to prevent evidence from being shown at trial, which could be lawful or unlawful.

Lawful suppression of evidence means the judge rejects the use of the evidence in the court...

surveillance

Surveillance is the act of observing another in order to gather evidence. Surveillance is one of the most common methods law enforcement officials use to investigate suspects and gather evidence. It can be accomplished with the knowledge of...

suspect

A suspect is a person who is believed to have committed a crime, but has not yet been found guilty. If a suspect received an arrest warrant, they might then be identified as a defendant; and after the suspect was convicted or found guilty,...

suspended sentence

In criminal law, a suspended sentence is an alternative to imprisonment where a judge may partially or entirely suspend the convicted individual's prison or jail sentence so long as they fulfill certain conditions. If the conditions are...

swindle

To swindle means to dispossess someone of money or property through fraud or deceit.

[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]

tainted evidence

In a criminal trial, tainted evidence, also referred to as evidence of taint, is evidence that was acquired by illegal means. For example, if authorities gather evidence using a wiretap without a proper warrant, the evidence will be deemed...

taking of hostages

The taking of hostages, if perpetrated as part of an armed conflict, is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The prosecutor must show the following elements:

The perpetrator seized, detained, or otherwise held...

temporary insanity

In a criminal trial, temporary insanity is a defense that can be raised to assert that, at the time of the commission of the offense, the defendant, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature or...

temporary restraining order (TRO)

Temporary restraining orders (TROs) are a type of short-term injunction issued to prevent a party from taking a certain action until the court is able to issue a more enduring order, such as a preliminary injunction. TROs are a type of...

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 in, or about to be engaged in criminal conduct...

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