Criminal Action (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The procedure by which a person accused of committing a crime is charged, brought to trial, and judged.
The main part of a criminal action is the trial in which the innocence or guilt of the accused is determined. If the defendant is not found guilty, he or she will be acquitted of the charges. If the defendant is found to be guilty, a suitable punishment, such as a fine, imprisonment, or even a death sentence, will be imposed depending upon the punishment provided in the statute under which he or she was prosecuted.
(The entire section is 94 words.)
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