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.

Do not take legal action solely in reliance on the information posted on this page!

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: Law.com or Nolo’s Law Dictionary.


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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  • Stealing. The unlawful taking and carrying away of property of another with the intent to keep it from the owner. This is a specific intent crime, and cannot occur accidentally. The crime is completed when the defendant actually or constructively possesses or controls the property, moves or hides it, and specifically intends to permanently deprive the owner of it.


  • An attorney. A person authorized to practice law in a state to represent the legal interests of another person.

Leading Question

  • A question that instructs a witness how to answer, or suggests which answer is desired. These questions are usually prohibited on direct examination.


  • The Law Enforcement Information Network. A computer network accessed by police. L.EI.N (pronounced "lean") maintains a database that includes active arrest warrants, active PPOs, felony and high misdemeanor convictions, etc.