Within the Statute

Within the Statute

Encompassed by, or included under, the provisions and scope of a particular law.

In the U.S. legal system, a person who is charged with violating a statute must have committed actions that are specifically addressed in the law. When a person's actions comport with the language of the law, the actions are said to be "within the statute."

Troublesome questions arise, however, when a statute is too general or not specific enough in providing information on the proscribed acts. For example, Vagrancy laws were used to arrest and detain persons the police believed had or were about to commit crimes. A person could be arrested for having no permanent address or for moving "aimlessly" through the streets. In Papachristou v. Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156, 92 S. Ct. 839, 31 L. Ed. 2d 110 (1972), however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Florida vagrancy statute was unconstitutional because it was too vague to be understood. The Court emphasized that a person cannot avoid engaging in criminal conduct, if prior to engaging in it, he cannot determine that the conduct is forbidden by law.

In Criminal Law, the courts apply the rule of lenity to deal with ambiguities in criminal statutes. The general rule is that an Ambiguity in a criminal statute should be resolved in favor of the defendant. Therefore, a court will choose the more lenient interpretation in determining the punishment.

Cross-references

Void for Vagueness Doctrine.

References in periodicals archive ?
As well as receiving particular site supervision (E[micro]BE-) as a special performance of Phases 8 and the monitoring of the remedial measures within the statute of limitations as a special performance of Lph is awarded 9.
An attorney for Chloe Goins said after the meeting that his client is the first woman accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct whose case may fall within the statute of limitations.
Only two victims filed complaints within the statute of limitation.
But the refund or credit would be restricted to those tax years and/or payments made within the statute of limitations (SOL) for refunds as of June 26, 2013.
Although it is a firearm within the statute it was designed as a non-lethal self defence weapon capable of temporary incapacitation.
We're here to remind everybody that such crimes do not fall within the statute of limitation," Alaa Abdel Fattah, blogger and rights activist who attended the event, said, "we will fight for everyone tortured since the creation of Egypt and we shall retrieve their rights even if it takes us a hundred years.
You can't, however, dispute negative information if it is in deed correct and if it is still within the statute of limitations for reporting.
Taxpayers who failed to deduct Medicare premiums for prior tax years within the statute of limitation period may file amended returns to claim the deduction.
The court held that "provocation" within the statute means either intentional or unintentional; that the defendant's dog was provoked by the plaintiff's unintentional act and did not viciously react to these acts.
Klemencie filed a motion for summary judgment based on Henik's failure to prop-erlv commence suit against her within the statute of limitations.
Because of this, fully understanding how to properly commence an action within the statute of limitations and to appropriately obtain jurisdiction over the defendant is critical when representing a party in an action pending in New York.

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