In a criminal case the defendant is the individual accused of a crime. Defendants in civil cases are the person who has been sued. Defendants may also be termed respondents in certain states.
In a criminal case the prosecution or the state must prove certain elements of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt". The United States legal system allows the defendant to be represented by a lawyer, the right to a trial by their peers, the right to a speedy trial, the right to remain silent and the right to not be tried for the same crime twice. Punishment for the defendant if convicted of a crime can vary from incarceration, penalties, fines and execution. Defendants in civil actions generally are summoned to court and will make a voluntary appearance or avoid most court appearances by the representation of an attorney.
Criminal defendants are generally arrested and involuntarily forced to appear in court either after being taken into custody by a police officer or arrested through the process of an arrest warrant. Criminal defendants generally must be present at court as the criminal proceedings against them progress. Defendants may exist in a bankruptcy Adversary proceeding if a plaintiff files a complaint with the bankruptcy court against the defendant.
Adversary Proceedings are governed by rules outlined in Part VII of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiffs in an adversary proceeding can include the Trustee or other parties (such as a Creditor) or the debtor who may begin an adversary proceeding against creditors who have violated certain federal rules of the bankruptcy process.
More Help on Defendant
- Adversary Proceedings - Adversary proceedings are a federal lawsuit within the bankruptcy process which is started by filing a complaint with the bankruptcy court against one or more defendants and is used to determine the validity of certain claims. - read more
- Creditor - Creditors can include businesses, individuals, organizations or the United State\'s government who is owed money for services or products provided to a second party in return for payment. - read more
- Trustee - The bankruptcy trustee program, created by the United States Department of Justice, manages and oversees the bankruptcy process to improve efficiency and guarantee the integrity of the bankruptcy system. - read more
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