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The terms and definitions on this page are relevant to criminal cases in the State of Michigan, United States of America, unless noted otherwise. Criminal laws and procedures in other states and countries may be very different.

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This page provides general information that is intended, but not guaranteed, to be correct, complete and up-to-date. Do not rely, for legal advice, on information given on this page or any externally referenced Internet sites. If you need legal advice upon which you intend to rely in the course of your legal affairs, consult a competent attorney in your area.

If the word you're looking for does not appear on this list, check one of the following websites: American Bar Association, Law.com, or Nolo’s Law Dictionary.

Glossary

The legal system can be filled with confusing phrases and terms. This list should help you to understand that system a little better.

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Vacate

  • To set aside. Example: a court may vacate an earlier order.

Venue

  • The geographic location (e.g., city or county) where an event occurred. A "change of venue" happens when a case is moved to a court in another county or to a court having other jurisdictional powers ... generally because the case should have been filed there originally, or for the convenience of the parties/witnesses, or because a fair trial cannot be had in the original court's location.

Verdict

  • Decision of a jury or a judge on the issues submitted to the court for determination.

Victim

  • A person or entity who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime.

Voir Dire

  • The process of jury selection, generally involving the judge and attorneys asking potential jurors about their experiences and beliefs. The purpose is to determine if the jurors are appropriate for sitting on the case at hand. This French term (pronounced "vwa dear") means "to speak the truth".