Concept

Defendant

Summary
In court proceedings, a defendant is a person or object who is the party either accused of committing a crime in criminal prosecution or against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in a civil case. Terminology varies from one jurisdiction to another. In Scots law, the terms "accused" or "panel" are used instead in criminal proceedings and "defender" in civil proceedings. Another term in use is "respondent". Criminal defendants In a criminal trial, a defendant is a person accused (charged) of committing an offense (a crime; an act defined as punishable under criminal law). The other party to a criminal trial is usually a public prosecutor, but in some jurisdictions, private prosecutions are allowed. Criminal defendants are often taken into custody by police and brought before a court under an arrest warrant. Criminal defendants are usually obliged to post bail before being released from custody. For serious cases, such as murder, bail may be refused. Defendants
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