6 Criminal Legal Terms You Should Know

If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be going through a difficult time. The emotional stress alone can simply be overwhelming. It's important to turn to a criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the necessary legal steps in this situation. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with certain legal terminology if you've been convicted of a crime to help better you understand your case.


This term is used for another individual who didn't actually commit the crime, but may have had something to do with it. It is common for an accomplice to be on the crime scene when it happened.


If you are questioned about the crime and your location on the day it occurred, but you're able to provide proof you were elsewhere; this is referred to as your alibi.  By showing you weren't at the crime scene, this can help strengthen your defense case.


If you are charged with this crime, there must be two things established. First, it has to be established that you broke into another person's property. Secondly, it must be proven that you had the intent to commit a felony once you entered the property.

Hate Crimes

If you engage in Illegal activity that is based on your biased opinion of others, this is referred to as a hate crime. Common reasons that hate crimes are committed include convictions against another person's sexual orientation, religion or political views to name a few.

Jury Nullification

This occurs when there is a jury trial, and you are convicted of committing a crime, but a conviction can't be made. When the jurors feel the law may wrong, and you shouldn't be penalized because of your action, jury nullification is possible.

White Collar Crimes

This occurs when professional people are found guilty of criminal activity. One good example of this would be if a financial adviser were aware of a change in stock prices that was going to occur and told others of this of financial gain. Other instances of white-collar crimes include bribery, fraud, and embezzlement and can potentially carry heavy fines and penalties if there is a conviction made.

Criminal law can be complex and requires the assistance of a legal expert in this field. Be sure to consult with a criminal attorney who can be your best resource when faced with something of this magnitude.