Criminal Defense GLOSSARY
Glossary of Criminal Defense Terms
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Impeachment: (1) The process of calling something into
question, as in "impeaching the testimony of a witness." (2) The
constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may
"impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal
government for trial in the Senate.
Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury
stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed
the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for
Infraction: an offense punishable by a fine or other
penalty other than incarceration.
Information: A formal accusation by a government attorney
that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or
compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable
damage or injury.
Instructions: Judge's explanation to the jury before it
begins deliberations of the questions it must answer and the law
governing the case.
Issue: (1) The disputed point in a disagreement between
parties in a lawsuit. (2) To send out officially, as in to issue an