Abuse Excuse


A self-defense claim that a defendant is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong or of controlling his or her impulses as a result of being subjected to prolonged physical or mental abuse, i.e. as a result of, inter alia, battered...

Accomplice Witness


Someone who is both a witness to a crime and an accomplice in that same crime. In some states, a defendant may not be convicted solely on the basis of an accomplice witness' testimony.

Illustrative case law

See, e.g. Cool v. U.S., 409 U....


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) To admit something, whether bad, good, or indifferent. 2) To state to a notary public or other officer (such as a county clerk) that a document bearing your signature was actually signed by you. (See...

actuarial tables


Statistical tables that display the life expectancies of people based on certain characteristics such as age, gender, family...

Actus Reus


Actus reus refers to the act or omission that comprise the physical elements of a crime as required by statute.


The actus reus includes only voluntary bodily movements, particularly one which society has an interest in...

Admissible Evidence


Evidence that is formally presented before the trier of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) to consider in deciding the case. The trial court judge determines whether or not the evidence may be proffered. To be admissible in court, the...



1) A person's, in particular a party's, statement acknowledging that a certain fact is true or silence after another party's assertion of a fact that, if false, would typically elicit a denial. 2) Admission by a party-opponent: an out-of-...

Admission Against Interest


An out-of-court statement by a party that, when uttered, is against the party's pecuniary, proprietary, or penal interest and that is admissible under both an exclusion (admission by a party-opponent) and an exception (statement against...



1) To state that a certain fact is true. 2) In a civil case, to state that a plaintiff's allegation is true. If a defendant admits an allegation, the plaintiff need not prove it at trial. 3) In a criminal case, to state that a certain fact is...

After-Discovered Evidence


In a civil or criminal case, evidence that existed at the time of a motion or trial but that could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence prior to a court ruling upon the motion or the trial's completion. Upon later discovery, a...