Related topics: prosecutors

A wild online ride hits the digital piracy wall

On his way up, he fooled them all: judges, journalists, investors and companies. Then the man who renamed himself Kim Dotcom finally did it. With an outsized ego and an eye for get-rich schemes, he parlayed his modest computing ...

Difficult-to-read font reduces political polarity, study finds

(Phys.org)—Liberals and conservatives who are polarized on certain politically charged subjects become more moderate when reading political arguments in a difficult-to-read font, researchers report in a new study. Likewise, ...

High court troubled by warrantless GPS tracking (Update)

The Supreme Court invoked visions of an all-seeing Big Brother and satellites watching us from above. Then things got personal Tuesday when the justices were told police could slap GPS devices on their cars and track their ...

It's who you kill that matters, according to new research

A defendant is much more likely to be sentenced to death if he or she kills a "high-status" victim, according to new research by Scott Phillips, associate professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver ...

Italy scientists sentenced to jail in quake trial (Update 2)

Six Italian scientists and a government official were sentenced to six years in jail on Monday for multiple manslaughter in a watershed ruling that found them guilty of underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in ...

Crime and virtual punishment

When it comes to crime and punishment, how judges dish out prison sentences is anything but a game.

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Defendant

A defendant or defender (Δ in legal shorthand) is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. Respondent is the parallel term used in a proceeding which is commenced by petition.

In criminal law in many jurisdictions, a defendant is anyone tried as the accused. However, convention in Scotland does not recognise the use of the term "defendant" in criminal proceedings and the terms "accused" or "panel" are used instead.

A defendant in a civil action usually makes his or her first court appearance voluntarily in response to a summons, whereas a defendant in a criminal case is often taken into custody by police and brought before a court, pursuant to an arrest warrant. The actions of a defendant, and its lawyer counsel, is known as the defense. Historically, a defendant in a civil action could also be taken into custody pursuant to a writ of capias ad respondendum and forced to post bail before being released from custody. However, a modern day defendant in a civil action is usually able to avoid most (if not all) court appearances if represented by a lawyer, whereas a defendant in a criminal case (particularly a felony or indictment) is usually obliged to post bail before being released from custody and must be present at every stage thereafter of the proceedings against him or her (they often may have their lawyer appear instead, especially for very minor cases, such as traffic offenses in jurisdictions which treat them as crimes).

Most often and familiarly, defendants are persons, either natural persons (actual human beings), or legal persons (persona ficta) under the legal fiction of treating organizations as persons; this is known as jurisdicition in personam. Alternatively, the defendant may be an object, which is known as jurisdiction in rem, in which case the object itself is the direct subject of the action, with a person only indirectly subject to the action. An example of an in rem case is United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola (1916), where the defendant was not The Coca Cola Company itself, but rather "Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola". In current US legal practice, in rem suits are primarily asset forfeiture cases, based on drug laws, as in USA v. $124,700 (2006).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA