Arizona v. United States (2012)

The Supreme Court case which held sections 3, 5(C), and 6 of Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (S.B. 1070) were preempted by federal law, but that section 2(B) must be allowed to be construed in practice before...

Arm's Length


Of or relating to transactions between two parties who are independent and do not have a close relationship with each other. Presumably, these parties have equal bargaining power and are not subject to undue pressure or influence from...

Armed Career Criminal Act (1984)

Also known as the “ACCA”. A federal law imposing a minimum prison sentence of fifteen years on criminals with at least three violent felony convictions.

Armed Conflict

In international criminal law, prosecution for a war crime requires the existence of an armed conflict. Some war crimes require an international armed conflict, while others require only a domestic armed conflict.

International armed conflicts...

Arms Export Control Act (1976)

The Arms Export Control Act authorizes the president to control the import and export of defense articles and services. If the president chooses, he can issue a license to an individual or organization that wishes to export defense articles or...



The first step in criminal proceeding where the defendant is brought in front of the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. County of Riverside v. McLaughlin 500 U.S. 44 (1991) and Godinez v. Moran,...


Debt that has accumulated and that has not yet been paid upon the due date. See arrearages.


An arrest is using legal authority to deprive a person of his or her freedom of movement. An arrest is generally made with an arrest warrant. An arrest may be made without a warrant if probable cause and exigent circumstances are presented at the...

Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes the police to take someone accused of a crime into custody. An arrest warrant is issued by the competent authority upon a showing of probable cause, which means a warrant...



A crime at common law, originally defined as the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. Depending upon the jurisdiction, the intentional setting of a fire to a building, or else the intentional setting of a fire to a building where...