Prime Suspect Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Prime Suspect?

The investigation of the person by the law enforcement officers who is believed to be the one who could have committed the crime.

History and Meaning of Prime Suspect

The term "prime suspect" refers to the person who is believed to be the most likely perpetrator of a crime. This term is commonly used in criminal investigations by law enforcement officers in many countries. The history of the term can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the police started using it to identify the most likely offender in a crime.

Over the years, the term has gained popularity in both legal and non-legal contexts. It is often used in news reports and crime documentaries to refer to the person who is being investigated for a crime. It is important to note that being a prime suspect does not necessarily mean that the person is guilty of the crime. The person may be cleared of any charges after further investigation and evidence.

Examples of Prime Suspect

  1. The police have identified John as the prime suspect in the robbery that took place yesterday.

  2. The detective is interviewing several people who were at the scene of the crime in order to identify the prime suspect.

  3. After reviewing the evidence, the police have cleared Mary of any involvement in the case; she is no longer a prime suspect.

  4. The prosecutor presented evidence against the prime suspect during the trial.

  5. The investigation is ongoing and the police are yet to identify a prime suspect.

Legal Terms Similar to Prime Suspect

  1. Person of Interest: similar to a prime suspect, a person of interest is someone who is believed to have information about a crime or could be involved in a crime.

  2. Suspect: refers to a person who is suspected of committing a crime.

  3. Defendant: a person who is accused of committing a crime and is being prosecuted in court.

  4. Accomplice: a person who helps another person commit a crime.

  5. Perpetrator: a person who carries out a criminal act.