Accused Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Accused, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Accused?

n. the person on whom the charges are made.

History and Meaning of Accused

The term "Accused" in legal parlance refers to an individual who has been formally charged with a crime. Accusations are made by the prosecuting authority, which could range from a police officer to a local government prosecutor or to the highest federal authority.

An accusation can only be considered legal when it is made before a judge or a jury, in a court of law or in other judicial proceedings. The accused is then granted the right to defend or refute the accusation, which is fundamental to the fundamental principles of any modern legal system.

Examples of Accused

  1. John was accused of theft and was brought before a court to defend himself.
  2. Joan was accused of shoplifting and was apprehended by the store's security personnel.
  3. Robert was accused of murder and was on the run for over a year until he was finally caught by the police.
  4. Laura was accused of a hit and run accident and had to testify in court.
  5. Michael was accused of insider trading and was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Legal Terms Similar to Accused

  1. Defendant: A person or entity being accused in a court of law.
  2. Alleged: A term used when the accusation has not yet been verified.
  3. Prosecutor: The individual or government entity bringing charges against an accused.