temporary insanity

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryIn a criminal case, a defense by the accused that he or she was briefly insane at the time the crime was committed and therefore was incapable of knowing the nature of the alleged criminal act.


Temporary restraining order


Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are short-term pre-trial temporary injunctions. To obtain a TRO, a party must convince the judge that he or she will suffer immediate irreparable injury unless the order is issued. If the judge is convinced...

temporary restraining order (TRO)

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn order that tells one person to stop harassing or harming another, issued after the person being harassed appears before a judge or submits appropriate paperwork. A few days or weeks after the TRO is...

Territorial jurisdiction

Territorial jurisdiction is the court's power to bind the parties to the action. This law determines the scope of federal and state court power. State court territorial jurisdiction is determined by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's...



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


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use (including potential...

Third party

A person who is not a principal party. Often refers to someone who is not party to a dispute or agreement.

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...

three strikes

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA state statute requiring a harsher sentence, especially life imprisonment, for a repeat offender's third felony conviction.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

time served

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAt the time a criminal defendant is sentenced, the amount of time the defendant has already spent in jail awaiting trial or a plea of guilty. When a judge sentences a defendant to "time served," the...