Also known as the "Miranda Rule, this is the name given to the requirement
that police officers, in the U.S.A., must warn suspects upon arrest that
they have the right to remain silent, that any statement that they make
could be used against them in a court of law, that they have the right
to contact a lawyer and that if they cannot afford a lawyer, that one
will be provided before any questioning is so desired. Failure to issue
the Miranda warning results in the evidence so obtained to not be admissible
in the court. The warning became a national police requirement when ordered
by the US Supreme Court in the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona and that is
how it got the name.
A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of
no effect because of some irregularity. The sudden end of trial before
it would ordinarily end because of some reason, which invalidates it.
Once a mistrial is declared, the situation is as if the trial had never
occurred. Some common reasons for a mistrial include a deadlocked jury,
the death of a juror or a serious procedural and prejudicial mistake made
at the trial, which cannot be corrected.
These are facts that, while not negating an offence or wrongful action,
tend to show that the defendant may have had some grounds for acting the
way he/she did. For example, assault, though provoked, is still assault
but provocation may constitute mitigating circumstances and allow for
a lesser sentence.
A person who sues another for damages has a responsibility to minimise
those damages, as far as reasonable. For example, in a wrongful dismissal
suit, the person that was fired should make some effort to find another
job so as to minimise the economic damage on themselves.
Latin: method of operation. Used by law enforcement officials to refer
to a criminal's preferred method of committing crime. For example, car
thief "George" may have a break and enter technique that leaves
a long scratch mark on the door. Upon discovery of a stolen vehicle with
such a mark, the law enforcement officials might include "George"
in the list of suspects because the evidence at the crime scene is consistent
with his "modus operandi."
Half of something. For example, it can be said that joint tenants hold
a moiety in property. In old criminal law, there were "moiety acts"
which allowed half of the fine money to be handed over to the informer.
A commercial advantage enjoyed by only one or a select few companies in
which only those companies can trade in a certain area. Some monopolies
are legal, such as those temporarily created by patents. Others are secretly
built by conspiracy between two or more companies and are prohibited by
An interest given on a piece of land, in writing, to guarantee the payment
of a debt or the execution of some action. It automatically becomes void
when the debt is paid or the action is executed. In some jurisdictions,
it entails a conveyance of the land until the debt is paid in full. The
person lending the money and receiving the mortgage is called the mortgagee;
the person who concedes a mortgage as security upon their property is
called a mortgagor.
A crime of lesser seriousness than a felony where the punishment might
be a fine or prison for less than one year.
Improperly doing something which a person has the legal right to do. Compare
with malfeasance and nonfeasance.