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Words You Need to Know

Glossary of Terms

Because your path to freedom involves legal processes, you will hear a lot of new words, as well as familiar words being used in new ways.

Use this list to help you understand some of the key terms that will be used during the process.

Remember to ask questions. Whenever there are terms or parts of the process you don’t understand, ask someone to explain it to you.

False imprisonment

The unlawful detainment of another person. This happens when one person deprives another of freedom of movement by holding that person in a confined space or by physical restraint. Examples include being locked in a car without opportunity to get out, being tied to a chair, or being locked in a closet.

Felony

A serious criminal offense such as murder, for which the sentence can include imprisonment for more than a year.

Frivolous

A pleading or claim is frivolous if no rational or reasonable arguments can be made to support the claim, and its purpose was to delay the court or embarass the opponent.