Glossary Of Law Terms

 In Law

When it comes to the law, there are so many different areas and terminology associated with it. If you are trying to navigate legal waters and are unsure of what certain terms mean, we’re here to help. This is our glossary of popular law terms every person should know.

Common Legal Terms

All these definitions have been provided by the Offices of The United States Attorneys. 

Attorney –

Arrest Warrant

A written order directing the arrest of a specific person or party. A judge issues these after the showing of probable cause.


The security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody. Bail is usually in the form of money and secures their appearance on the day and time appointed.


A written statement submitted by a lawyer for each side in a case that explains to the judge why they should decide the case in favor of their client.


This is the law that the police believe the defendant has broken.


A final judgment of guilt against a defendant.


Someone accused of a crime in a criminal case or someone complained against in a civil suit.


A more dangerous crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.

Grand Jury

A group of people chosen to listen. to evidence of criminal allegations, which are presented by the government. This group determines whether there is probable cause to believe the offense was committed. States are not required to use grand juries, but the federal government must do so.


A grand jury issues a formal charge stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial.


The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. It can also mean the geographic area in which the court has the authority to decide cases.


People are selected according to law and sworn to inquire into and declare a verdict on matters of fact. State court juries can be as small as six jurors in some cases.


Typically a lower offense or less serious crime than a felony. Misdemeanors typically require less than a year in confinement.

Plea Deal

An agreement between the defendant and prosecutor, where the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a concession by the prosecutor. Essentially, they plead guilty for the possibility of a lesser charge, dismissal of charges, or recommendation for a more lenient sentence.


The punishment of those found guilty must serve.


A legal document that allows a specific location to be searched for items that can be used in court as evidence. These require probable cause.

For a full glossary and understanding of legal terms, contact The Slaughter Law Firm. At Slaughter Law, we specialize in various areas of law and work hard to support our clients in their cases. In addition, we offer legal advice for civil suits as well as more serious cases. You can contact us online for more information today!