Codefendant Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Codefendant?

When more then one person are involved in a common legal proceeding, they are called codefendants.

History and Meaning of Codefendant

The term "codefendant" refers to the situation where there are two or more defendants in a lawsuit or criminal case that have been named together in the same legal action. The term is a combination of two words: co-, meaning "together", and defendant, meaning "a person accused of a crime or a plaintiff in a lawsuit." Codefendants share a common legal interest in the outcome of the case and are often jointly represented by an attorney.

Examples of Codefendants

  1. In a murder trial, two individuals are charged with carrying out the crime together. They could be considered codefendants in the case.
  2. In a personal injury lawsuit, two people may be named as codefendants if both of them are held liable for the plaintiff's injuries.
  3. In a corporate fraud case, multiple employees of a company may be named as codefendants if they all played a role in the illegal activity.

Legal Terms Similar to Codefendant

  1. Co-Plaintiff - Refers to two or more plaintiffs who file a lawsuit together.
  2. Co-Conspirator - Refers to individuals who have agreed to commit a criminal act together.
  3. Joint and Several Liability - Refers to a legal doctrine where multiple parties are held collectively responsible for damages or injuries caused by their actions.