Tx Govt Ch 12 Vocab

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1

Civil law

Nonpenal law dealing with private rights and responsibilities.

2

Criminal law

Law prosecuted by the state, seeking punishment for violations of public concepts of morality.

3

Plaintiff

The party bringing a civil suit; often a private person or institution.

4

Remedy

The means to redress an injury, including relief from ongoing injury or compensation for past damages.

5

Charter

The organizing document for a corporation or a municipality.

6

Writ of injunction

A court order to compel or restrain a particular action.

7

Right-to-work laws

Laws that prohibit union shop agreements requiring new employees to join a union.

8

Closed shop

A workplace in which management hires only labor union employees (illegal in Texas).

9

Union shop

A workplace in which management requires all new employees to join a union or pay dues as a condition for employment (illegal in Texas).

10

Slander

Spoken falsehood defaming a person’s character.

11

Libel

Published falsehood defaming a person’s character.

12

Negligence

Failure to act with the prudence or care that an ordinary person would exercise.

13

Tort

A private or civil injury or wrong other than a breach of contract.

14

Tort reform

Efforts to limit liability in civil cases.

15

Punitive damages

Judgments in excess of actual damages intended to punish a defendant in a civil suit.

16

No-fault insurance

An insurance plan allowing the insured person to collect from the individual’s own insurance company regardless of who is at fault in a vehicular accident.

17

Liability insurance

Insurance against negligence claims such as those arising from auto accidents.

18

Eminent domain

Government taking private property for public purposes with compensation.

19

Felony

In Texas, a serious crime punishable by state institutions.

20

Misdemeanor

A minor crime punishable by a county jail sentence or fine.

21

Victimless crime

A crime such as prostitution, gambling, or drug possession that primarily victimizes oneself rather than society at large.

22

Mores

Society’s strong beliefs about right and wrong.

23

FBI index crimes

Crimes used as a national barometer of the crime rate (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft, and motor vehicle theft).

24

White-collar crime

Bribery, tax fraud, business fraud, embezzlement, and other nonviolent crimes usually committed by more prosperous individuals than those who commit street crimes.

25

Due process

The following of proper legal procedures. Due process is essential to guaranteeing fairness before the government may deprive a person of life, liberty, or property.

26

Probable cause

Sufficient information to convince a reasonably cautious person that a search or arrest is justified.

27

Exclusionary rule

The requirement that illegally obtained evidence may not be used against the accused.

28

Arraignment

A prisoner’s initial appearance before a magistrate in which the charges and basic rights(to an attorney and bail) are explained.

29

Bail

The security required for release of a suspect awaiting trial.

30

Personal recognizance

A defendant’s personal promise to appear; sometimes allowed instead of cash bail or bond.

31

Examining trial

An initial court hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to send a case to a grand jury.

32

Prima facie case

Sufficient evidence to convict if unchallenged at trial; the amount of evidence necessary to indict a defendant.

33

Change of venue

A change in the location of a trial.

34

Voir dire questioning

The initial questioning of jurors to determine possible biases.

35

Adversary system

The legal system used in English speaking countries in which two contesting parties present opposing views and evidence in a court of law.

36

Compulsory process

A procedure to subpoena witnesses in court.

37

Mistrial .

A trial not completed for legal reasons, such as a hung jury; a new trial may be possible.

38

Probation

A judge’s sentence of an offender to serve outside a correctional institution but under specific restrictions and official supervision

39

Deterrence

Discouraging criminal behavior by threat of punishment.

40

Rehabilitation

The effort to correct criminals’ antisocial attitudes and behavior.

41

Recidivist .

A criminal who commits another crime after having been incarcerated.

42

Parole

Early release from prison under official supervision