Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Defendant'
n : a person or institution against whom an action is brought in
a court of law; the person being sued or accused [syn: suspect]
- Defendant \De*fend"ant\, a. [F. d['e]fendant, p. pr. of
d['e]fendre. See Defend.]
- Serving, or suitable, for defense; defensive. [Obs.] With men of courage and with means defendant. --Shak.
- Making defense.
- Defendant \De*fend"ant\, n.
- One who defends; a defender. The rampiers and ditches which the defendants had cast up. --Spotswood.
- (Law) A person required to make answer in an action or suit; -- opposed to plaintiff. --Abbott. Note: The term is applied to any party of whom a demand is made in court, whether the party denies and defends the claim, or admits it, and suffers a default; also to a party charged with a criminal offense.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on '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. (Note that American lawyers and judges often pronounce the word slightly differently than is common in standard American English, pronouncing the final syllable exactly as one pronounces ant---the name of an insect---in this pronunciation scheme.) A respondent is the parallel term used in a proceeding which is commenced by petition.
In criminal law, a defendant is anyone tried under the court of law as the ones who have committed the crime. 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).[See more about Defendant at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Defendant'
Defendant Sample Sentences in News
- Defendant Christopher Harris testifies he walked in on murders in progress
PEORIA — Jurors weighing murder charges against Christopher Harris now have two versions of how a Beason family may have died: the self-defense claim laid out in testimony Friday by Harris himself and the prosecution version of a killer described in testimony last week by his brother. Read more on this news related to 'Defendant'
- Murder defendant says shackles 'irritate' skin
A capital murder case defendant, known for his abrasive outbursts and odd behavior in court, entered court Friday morning with a limp. James Hutto told Judge Bill Gowan that he needed to be excused for the day because the shackles on his legs had been irritating his skin. Read more on this news related to 'Defendant'
- Defendant: Epithets, attack on gay man wasn't hate crime
WOODLAND, Calif., May 22 (UPI) -- A California defendant in a hearing on an assault charge said the words he hurled at the gay man he allegedly beat up did not make the beating a hate crime. Read more on this news related to 'Defendant'