Lying In Wait Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Lying In Wait?

Hiding awaiting the chance to attack someone.

History and Meaning of Lying In Wait

Lying in wait is a term commonly used in criminal law to describe an act of premeditation. It refers to the behavior of hiding or concealing oneself in order to ambush, surprise, or attack another person. This criminal behavior has been in existence for a very long time, and was likely used during the earliest conflicts between humans.

In modern times, the term lying in wait is used to describe situations in which an attacker intentionally waits for their victim to appear, often in a secluded or isolated place. This can be done for a variety of reasons, and may involve the use of weapons or other methods to subdue the victim.

Examples of Lying In Wait

  1. A thief waits outside a store for it to close before breaking in.

  2. An armed gunman hides in a stairwell waiting for someone to come down.

  3. A kidnapper hides in the bushes outside a school and abducts a child.

  4. An abusive spouse waits in the garage for their partner to arrive home before attacking them.

Legal Terms Similar to Lying In Wait

  1. Premeditation: The act of planning or thinking about a crime before it is committed.

  2. Ambush: An attack from a concealed location.

  3. Aggravated Assault: An intentional and severe attack that involves the use of a weapon.

  4. Stalking: The act of following or harassing someone for an extended period of time.

  5. First Degree Murder: A premeditated and intentional killing of a person.