Terminology of Criminal Procedure: The Top 40 Verbs You May Need to Know

legal english crimpro terms

One of the “problems” with bilingual legal dictionaries is that most contain mainly single-word noun entries. But my students and lawyer clients need lots of verbs to be able to explain Spanish law to their English-speaking clients. This week we are winding up a 18-hour unit on criminal procedure, and I’m sharing below a list of the “Top 40 Crimpro Verbs (and their Prepositions!)” that we’ve used in class.

to commit a crime

to suspect (someone) OF committing a crime

to be suspected OF committing a crime

to be UNDER investigation

to arrest (someone)

to take (someone) INTO custody

to be UNDER arrest

to be arrested FOR (here specific offense)

to be arrested ON a charge OF (here specific offense)

to be brought BEFORE the judge/the court

to appear IN court

to file/bring charges AGAINST the suspect

to charge (someone) WITH a crime

to be charged WITH two counts OF (here specific offense)

to accuse (someone) OF (here specific offense)

to be accused OF (here specific offense)

to enter a plea OF guilty or not guilty

to plead guilty/not guilty TO the charges

to confess TO (here specific offense)

to set/fix bail

to post bail

to release (someone) ON bail

to prosecute (someone) FOR (here specific offense)

to try (someone) FOR (here specific offense)

to be prosecuted/tried FOR (here specific offense)

to testify AGAINST (someone) AT trial

to defend (someone) AGAINST the charges

to be prevented FROM introducing illegally-obtained evidence AT trial

to pass verdict ON the accused

to acquit/to find (someone) not guilty OF (here specific offense)

to be acquitted/to be found not guilty

to convict/to find (someone) guilty OF (here specific offense)

to be convicted/to be found guilty

to find (someone) guilty AS charged

to be sentenced TO ten years in prison FOR (here specific offense)

to serve a ten-year sentence

to be released FROM incarceration

to be granted parole

to be ON parole

to violate parole