Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A court’s explanation of the law as applied to the facts in the case to the jury; a court’s directions to a jury. See 121 Ind. 541, 23 N. E. 670. See, also, Charge.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In French criminal law. The first process of a criminni prosecution. It includes the examination of the accused, the preliminary interrogation of witnesses, collateral investigations, the gathering of evidence, the reduction of the whole to order, and the preparation of a document containing a detailed statement of the case, to serve as a brief for the prosecuting officers, and to furnish material for the indictment
    —Juges d'instruction. In French law. Officers subject to the prooureur imperial or g4n4ral, who receive in cases of criminal offenses the complaints of the parties injured, and who summon and examine witnesses upon oath, and, after communication with the pro-cureur imperial, draw up the forms of accusation. They have also the right, subject to the approval of the same superior officer, to admit the accused to bail. They are appointed for three years, but are re-eligible for a further period of office. They are usually chosen from among the regular judges. Brown. In common law. Order given by a principal to his agent in relation to the business of his agency. In practice. A detailed statement of the facts and circumstances constituting a cause of action made by a client to his attorney for the purpose of enabling the latter to draw a proper declaration or procure it to be done by a pleader. In trial practice. A direction given by the judge to the jury concerning the law of the case; a statement made by the judge to the jury informing them of the law applicable to the case in general or some aspect of it; an exposition of the rules or principles of law applicable to the case or some branch or phase of it, which the jury are bound to accept and apply. Lehman v. Hawks, 121 Ind. 541, 23 N. E. 670; Boggs v. U. S., 10 Okl. 424, 63 Pac. 969; Lawler v. McPheeters, 73 Ind. 579.
    —Peremptory instruction. An instruction given by a court to a jury which the latter must obey implicitly ; as an instruction to return a verdict for the defendant, or for the plaintiff, as the case may be.