Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A verdict of "not guilty."
Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
Allegation: something that someone says happened.
Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
Ammunition: means an object consisting of all of the following:
Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
Attorney for the alleged incapacitated person: means an attorney who represents the alleged incapacitated person. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
Audit: means a systematic review of financial and all other documents to ensure compliance with…. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
Benefits: means arrears of pay, bonus, pension, compensation, insurance, and all other moneys paid or payable by the United States through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs by reason of service in the Armed Forces of the United States. See Florida Statutes 744.604
chemical weapon or device: means any weapon of such nature, except a device known as a "self-defense chemical spray. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Concealed firearm: means any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Concealed weapon: means any dirk, metallic knuckles, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Consent: means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. See Florida Statutes 744.521
Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
Corporate guardian: means a corporation authorized to exercise fiduciary or guardianship powers in this state and includes a nonprofit corporate guardian. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
Court reporter: A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
Cross examine: Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
Dart-firing stun gun: means any device having one or more darts that are capable of delivering an electrical current. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Decedent: A deceased person.
Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
Defense attorney: Represent defendants in criminal matters.
Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
Destructive device: means any bomb, grenade, mine, rocket, missile, pipebomb, or similar device containing an explosive, incendiary, or poison gas and includes any frangible container filled with an explosive, incendiary, explosive gas, or expanding gas, which is designed or so constructed as to explode by such filler and is capable of causing bodily harm or property damage; any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled; any device declared a destructive device by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; any type of weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive and which has a barrel with a bore of one-half inch or more in diameter; and ammunition for such destructive devices, but not including shotgun shells or any other ammunition designed for use in a firearm other than a destructive device. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Devise: To gift property by will.
Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
Distributor: means any person engaged in the business of selling sparklers to a wholesaler. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Division: means the Division of the State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Donee: The recipient of a gift.
Donor: The person who makes a gift.
Electric weapon or device: means any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Embezzlement: In most states, embezzlement is defined as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Embezzlement typically occurs in the employment and corporate settings. Source: OCC
Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
Escheat: Reversion of real or personal property to the state when 1) a person dies without leaving a will and has no heirs, or 2) when the property (such as a bank account) has been inactive for a certain period of time. Source: OCC
Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
Explosive: means any chemical compound or mixture that has the property of yielding readily to combustion or oxidation upon application of heat, flame, or shock, including but not limited to dynamite, nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene, or ammonium nitrate when combined with other ingredients to form an explosive mixture, blasting caps, and detonators; but not including:
(a) Shotgun shells, cartridges, or ammunition for firearms;
Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
Firearm: means any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Fireworks: means and includes any combustible or explosive composition or substance or combination of substances or, except as hereinafter provided, any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
Guardian: means any person acting as a fiduciary for a ward's person or the ward's estate, or both. See Florida Statutes 744.604
Guardian: means a person who has been appointed by the court to act on behalf of a ward's person or property, or both. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Guardian ad litem: means a person who is appointed by the court having jurisdiction of the guardianship or a court in which a particular legal matter is pending to represent a ward in that proceeding. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Guardian advocate: means a person appointed by a written order of the court to represent a person with developmental disabilities under…. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Incapacitated person: means a person who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage at least some of the property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements of the person. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Income: means moneys received from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as benefits, and revenue or profit from any property acquired in whole or in part with such moneys. See Florida Statutes 744.604
Indictment: means an indictment or an information in any court under which a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year may be prosecuted. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
Joint tenancy: A form of property ownership in which two or more parties hold an undivided interest in the same property that was conveyed under the same instrument at the same time. A joint tenant can sell his (her) interest but not dispose of it by will. Upon the death of a joint tenant, his (her) undivided interest is distributed among the surviving joint tenants.
Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
Law enforcement officer: means :
(a) All officers or employees of the United States or the State of Florida, or any agency, commission, department, board, division, municipality, or subdivision thereof, who have authority to make arrests;
(b) Officers or employees of the United States or the State of Florida, or any agency, commission, department, board, division, municipality, or subdivision thereof, duly authorized to carry a concealed weapon;
(c) Members of the Armed Forces of the United States, the organized reserves, state militia, or Florida National Guard, when on duty, when preparing themselves for, or going to or from, military duty, or under orders;
(d) An employee of the state prisons or correctional systems who has been so designated by the Department of Corrections or by a warden of an institution;
(e) All peace officers;
(f) All state attorneys and United States attorneys and their respective assistants and investigators. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
Limited guardian: means a guardian who has been appointed by the court to exercise the legal rights and powers specifically designated by court order entered after the court has found that the ward lacks the capacity to do some, but not all, of the tasks necessary to care for his or her person or property, or after the person has voluntarily petitioned for appointment of a limited guardian. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
Machine gun: means any firearm, as defined herein, which shoots, or is designed to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manually reloading, by a single function of the trigger. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
manage property: means to take those actions necessary to obtain, administer, and dispose of real and personal property, intangible property, business property, benefits, and income. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Manufacturer: means any person engaged in the manufacture or construction of sparklers in this state. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Minor: means a person under 18 years of age whose disabilities have not been removed by marriage or otherwise. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
National Bank: A bank that is subject to the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. A national bank can be recognized because it must have "national" or "national association" in its name. Source: OCC
Next of kin: means those persons who would be heirs at law of the ward or alleged incapacitated person if the person were deceased and includes the lineal descendants of the ward or alleged incapacitated person. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
Nonprofit corporate guardian: means a nonprofit corporation organized for religious or charitable purposes and existing under the laws of this state. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
Offender: means a person accused of a sexual offense in violation of a provision of this chapter. See Florida Statutes 744.521
Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
Permanent appropriation: Budget authority that becomes available as the result of previously enacted legislation (substantive legislation or prior appropriations act) and does not require current action by the legislature. Budget authority is considered to be "current" if provided in the current session of the legislature and "permanent" if provided in prior sessions.
person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
Plenary guardian: means a person who has been appointed by the court to exercise all delegable legal rights and powers of the ward after the court has found that the ward lacks the capacity to perform all of the tasks necessary to care for his or her person or property. See Florida Statutes 744.102
political subdivision: include counties, cities, towns, villages, special tax school districts, special road and bridge districts, bridge districts, and all other districts in this state. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
Preneed guardian: means a person named in a written declaration to serve as guardian in the event of the incapacity of the declarant as provided in…. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
Probate: Proving a will
Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
Professional guardian: means any guardian who has at any time rendered services to three or more wards as their guardian. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Property: means both real and personal property or any interest in it and anything that may be the subject of ownership. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
Readily accessible for immediate use: means that a firearm or other weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as easily and quickly as if carried on the person. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
Retailer: means any person who, at a fixed place of business, is engaged in selling sparklers to consumers at retail. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
Seasonal retailer: means any person engaged in the business of selling sparklers at retail in this state from June 20 through July 5 and from December 10 through January 2 of each year. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Secretary: means the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as head of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or her or his successor. See Florida Statutes 744.604
Securely encased: means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Self-defense chemical spray: means a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Serious personal injury: means great bodily harm or pain, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. See Florida Statutes 744.521
Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
Sexual battery: means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. See Florida Statutes 744.521
Short-barreled rifle: means a rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Short-barreled shotgun: means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Sparkler: means a device which emits showers of sparks upon burning, does not contain any explosive compounds, does not detonate or explode, is handheld or ground based, cannot propel itself through the air, and contains not more than 100 grams of the chemical compound which produces sparks upon burning. See Florida Statutes 744.454
Standby guardian: means a person empowered to assume the duties of guardianship upon the death or adjudication of incapacity of the last surviving natural or appointed guardian. See Florida Statutes 744.102
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Sterile area: means the area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property in accordance with federally approved airport security programs. See Florida Statutes 744.2111
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Tenancy by the entirety: A type of joint tenancy between husband and wife that is recognized in some States. Neither party can sever the joint tenancy relationship; when a spouse dies, the survivor acquires full title to the property.
Testate: To die leaving a will.
Testify: Answer questions in court.
Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs: means the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessors or successors. See Florida Statutes 744.604
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
veteran: means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under honorable conditions only or who later received an upgraded discharge under honorable conditions, notwithstanding any action by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs on individuals discharged or released with other than honorable discharges. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
Weapon: means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife. See Florida Statutes 744.2111