Criminal Defense Glossary of Terms: M - V


Miranda Warnings: The right to an attorney and the right to remain silent to officers when in custody.

Mistrial: A trial that is invalid due to an error.

Misdemeanor: A crime that does not result in more than a year of jail time.

Parole: Release of a convicted person before their jail sentence is completed, subject to restrictions and monitoring.

Plaintiff: In a civil lawsuit, it is the individual that files the complaint.

Plea: A defendant's statement - either a "not guilty" or "guilty" pleading - in a criminal case.

Probation: Something that is ordered at the time of sentencing and requires that certain restrictions are obeyed.

Restitution: Something of value that must be paid back by the defendant to the victim.

Vacate: When a judge invalidates or sets aside an order that was previously entered.