Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'I'
It's time for another installment of Legalese From A to Z, explaining the plain-English meanings of some common (and some uncommon) legal terms that non-lawyers may find confusing.
What is legalese? It's the specialized language of the legal profession -- words typically used only in legal documents and in court. Here are five legalese terms you may not know that begin with the letter "I":
- In limine. Latin for "on the threshold," in limine is typically used to describe motions, petitions, and orders regarding the admissibility of evidence before trial. A motion in limine, for example, is a request by a party that the court issue an order preventing the other party from introducing evidence that may be harmful until the court has ruled on its admissibility.
- Incapacity. Incapacity is the lack of legal qualifications due to mental condition or age. Incapacity can prevent a person from being able to make legal decisions, such as entering into a contract or signing a will. Lack of capacity can also be a defense to criminal charges by negating the intent element required for certain crimes.
- Indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is the crime of displaying one's private body parts recklessly or intentionally in an offensive manner. In most states, indecent exposure is limited to exposing one's genitals, and does not include a exposing woman's breasts or exposing one's underwear. Also, many states require the exposure to be for a sexual purpose.
- Inevitable discovery. Inevitable discovery allows evidence that would otherwise be inadmissible in a criminal trial because it was obtained unconstitutionally to be admitted if it can be shown that the evidence would have been discovered anyway.
- Irresistible impulse. An irresistible impulse is an overpowering impulse produced by mental disease or defect that leads to the commission of a crime. In some states, the irresistible impulse test is the standard for the insanity defense, in which a criminal defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.
If you need help with defining a legal word or phrase, check out FindLaw's Legal Dictionary for free access to more than 8,000 definitions of legal terms. Or just wait for next Sunday, when Legalese From A to Z will demystify five more legal terms you may not know, beginning with the letter "J."
- Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'H' (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'G' (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'F' (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Legalese From A to Z: 5 Legal Terms Beginning With 'E' (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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