Prosecute Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Prosecute?

to initiate a legal proceeding right from charging the defendant and leading to the trail and judgement. Normally the state (government) charges the defendant on behalf of the plaintiff, prosecuting the defendant for the crime.

History and Meaning of Prosecute

The term "prosecute" comes from the Latin word "prosecutus", which means "to pursue". This legal term is used to describe the process of initiating legal proceedings against someone who is accused of a crime. Prosecution begins with the charging of a defendant and leads to a trial and judgment.

Examples of Prosecute

  1. The district attorney decided to prosecute the suspect for burglary.
  2. The victim of the theft was hesitant to prosecute because of fear of retaliation.
  3. The government's decision not to prosecute the police officer for excessive force sparked public outcry.

Legal Terms Similar to Prosecute

  1. Indictment: an accusation in a criminal case that formalizes criminal charges against the defendant.
  2. Pursue: to continue with a legal action or a criminal case.
  3. Litigate: to engage in legal proceedings, which may include filing or defending a lawsuit.