Ten Legal Terms You Should Know

law office desk with book, law scale and documentsAt Torres Law, we do our best to take the mystery out of legal services. We understand that to the untrained ear, some legal terms can sound like a different language. That being said, we have listed simple definitions for some common legal terms you may have heard while speaking with your DUI lawyer in Seminole County, FL.

Admissible: A term used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases.

Affidavit: A written or printed statement made under oath.

Burden of proof: The duty to prove disputed facts. In civil cases, a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. In criminal cases, the government has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt.

Complaint: A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.

Counsel: Legal advice; a term also used to refer to the lawyers in a case.

Defendant: An individual or business against whom a lawsuit is filed.

Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

Lien: A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge.

Plaintiff: A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.

Settlement: The payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claim.