Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Speakout Advanced p 44. Crime and Punishment. Extra Vocabulary

Criminal justice
Breaking the law:
  • break/violate/obey/ the law

  • be investigated for a crime/a robbery/fraud

  • be arrested for a crime/a robbery/fraud

  • be tried for a crime/a robbery/fraud 

  • be arrested on charges of rape/fraud/ felony charges

Felony: /ˈfeləni/ the act of committing a serious crime such as murder or rape; a crime of this type. Sp. Delito grave. E.g. a charge of felony.

Misdemeanour: /ˌmɪsdɪˈmiːnə(r)/ a crime that is not considered to be very serious.
petty crime/theft (= that is not very serious) a petty criminal/thief. 

  • be indicted on charges of rape/fraud/ felony charges
Indict: / ɪnˈdaɪt/to officially charge somebody with a crime. Sp. Acusar. E.g. The senator was indicted for murder.She was indicted on charges of corruption. 

  • be  convicted on charges of rape/fraud/ felony charges
Convict: / kənˈvɪkt /to decide and state officially in court that somebody is guilty of a crime. Sp. Declarar culpable. E.g. a convicted murderer. He was convicted of fraud. There wasn't enough evidence to convict her.

  • be arrested on suspicion of arson/robbery/shoplifting

  • be accused of/be charged with murder/ four counts of fraud

Count: a crime that somebody is accused of committing. Sp. delito. E.g. They were found guilty on all counts. She appeared in court on three counts of fraud.  

  • custody: /ˈkʌstədi/ the state of being in prison, especially while waiting for trial. E.g. After the riot, 32 people were taken into police custody.  The police arrested him and took him into custody. He was remanded in custody, charged with the murder of a policeman.

  • remand somebody (+ adv./prep.) to send somebody away from a court to wait for their trial which will take place at a later date Sp. The two men were charged with burglary and remanded in custody (= sent to prison until their trial. Sp. poner a algn en prisión preventiva). She was remanded on bail (= allowed to go free until the trial after leaving a sum of money with the court. Sp. poner en libertad bajo fianza). After his arrest, he was remanded to Brixton prison.
  • face two charges of indecent assault

indecent assault: a sexual attack on somebody but one that does not include rape. Sp. abusos sexuales.

Assault: the crime of attacking somebody physically. Sp. Agresión. E.g. Both men were charged with assault. 
  • admit your guilt/liability/responsibility (for something)

Liability: /ˌlaɪəˈbɪləti/ the state of being legally responsible for something. Sp. Responsabilidad. E.g. The company cannot accept liability for any damage caused by natural disasters. 

  • deny the allegations

  • deny the claims
 Claim: a demand for something as rightful or due. Sp. Demanda.

  • deny the charges
  • confess to a crime

  • grant bail

  • be released/remanded on bail
 She was remanded on bail (= allowed to go free until the trial after leaving a sum of money with the court. Sp. poner en libertad bajo fianza)

  • be refused bail

  • skip/jump bail  

Skip/ Jump bail: to fail to appear in court to answer to a charge after being released on bail. (Sp. fugarse después de pagar la fianza.) E.g. I can't afford to skip bail-I'd lose half a million. We were sure he'd jump bail but he finally showed up.

The legal process:
  • Magistrates' court: a local court of law in England and Wales where magistrates judge minor criminal cases, and also decide whether more serious cases should be referred to a Crown Court. Most criminal cases in England and Wales are judged in magistrates' courts.

  • Solicitor/səˈlɪsɪtə(r)/ a lawyer who prepares legal documents, for example for the sale of land or buildings, advises people on legal matters, and can speak for them in some courts of law.

  • Crown court: (in England and Wales) a court which deals with criminal cases, with a judge and jury. 

  •  Barrister: a lawyer in Britain who has the right to argue cases in the higher courts of law. 

  • stand/ be on/ go on/ come to/ bring somebody to trial

Stand trial to be the accused person in a trial before a judge; to be on trial. E.g. He had to stand trial for theft.---Sp. ir a juicio, ser procesado, someterse a juicio.

  • await trial
await trial: E.g. He is in prison awaiting trial on drugs charges.

  • attend a trial  
attend a trial:  E.g. As a journalist he attended every murder trial of note.

  • take somebody to court
E.g. Their neighbours took them to court. They took their landlord to court for breaking the contract.

  • come to court 
E.g. The case took five years to come to court (= to be heard by the court).

  • go to court 
E.g. We are prepared to go to court to get our compensation. 

  • settle something out of court: E.g. The dispute was settled out of court. 
  • face/avoid/escape prosecution
Prosecution /ˌprɒsɪˈkjuːʃn/ the process of trying to prove in court that somebody is guilty of a crime. Sp. acusación, fiscalía.

prosecutor: a public official who charges somebody officially with a crime and prosecutes them in court. E.g. the public/state prosecutor

  • hold/conduct/attend/adjourn a hearing
hearing: an official meeting at which the facts about a crime, complaint, etc. are presented to the person or group of people who will have to decide what action to take. E.g.  a court/disciplinary hearing.

  • sit on/influence/persuade/convince the jury.

  • sit/stand/appear/be put/place somebody in the dock.
Dock: the part of a court where the person who has been accused of a crime stands or sits during a trial. Sp. El banquillo de los acusados. E.g. He's been in the dock (= on trial for a crime) several times already.

The bench

 a judge in court or the seat where he/she sits; the position of being a judge or magistrate. E.g. His lawyer turned to address the bench. She has recently been appointed to the bench.
  • plead guilty/not guilty to a crime.
plead: to state in court that you are guilty or not guilty of a crime. E.g. How do you plead? (= said by the judge at the start of the trial).
  • be called to/enter (British English) the witness box.
  • take/put somebody on the stand/(North American English) the witness stand.

  • subpoena a witness.
Subpoena: /səˈpiːnə/ to order somebody to attend court and give evidence as a witness. E.g. The court subpoenaed her to appear as a witness.

  • call a witness.
  • question/cross-examine a witness. 
  • give evidence
Evidence: the information that is used in court to try to prove something. Sp. Testimonio. E.g. I was asked to give evidence (= to say what I knew, describe what I had seen, etc.) at the trial.

  • hear the evidence: E.g. hear the evidence against/on behalf of somebody. We must wait to hear his evidence before we make any judgement. 
  • raise/ overrule an objection.
Overrule: reject

  • reach a unanimous/majority verdict. E.g. after two days the jury reached their verdict.

  • return/deliver/record a verdict of not guilty.
Return a verdict: to give a decision about something in court. Sp. Emitir. E.g. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The inquest ( investigation) returned a verdict of accidental death.

  • be found guilty/not guilty. E.g. Carl was found guilty. His fingerprints were on the gun.

  • convict/acquit the defendant of the crime. E.g. He was acquitted and allowed to go free.

  • secure (get) a conviction/your acquittal. E.g. They need strong evidence to secure a conviction.

  • escape conviction E.g. He believes that too many defendants are escaping conviction by claiming that they are insane. 

  • lodge/file an appeal.
Lodge: to make a formal statement about something to a public organization or authority. Sp. Interponer.
Appeal: a formal request to a court or to somebody in authority for a judgement or a decision to be changed. Sp. Apelación. E.g. (British English) to lodge an appeal. (North American English) to file an appeal. 

  • appeal (against)/challenge/uphold/overturn a conviction/verdict.
uphold something (especially of a court of law) to agree that a previous decision was correct or that a request is reasonable. E.g. to uphold a conviction/an appeal/a complaint
Sentencing and punishment:
  • pass sentence on somebody.
E.g. The judge passed sentence (= said what the punishment would be. Sp. Dictó sentencia)
  • carry/face/serve a seven-year/life sentence.

  • receive/be given the death penalty.

  • capital punishment: punishment by death E.g. Public opinion was in favour of bringing back capital punishment.
  • be sentenced to ten years (in prison/jail). The judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

  • condemn: /kənˈdem/ to say what somebody’s punishment will be. Sentence. E.g.  Condemn somebody (to something) He was condemned to death for murder and later hanged. Condemn somebody to do something She was condemned to hang for killing her husband.

  • carry/impose/pay a fine (of $3000)/a penalty (Sp. castigo, sanción) (of 14 years imprisonment)
E.g. Assault carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.

  • be imprisoned/jailed for drug possession/fraud/murder

  • do/serve time/ten years

  • be sent to/put somebody in/be released from jail/prison.

  • community service: work helping people in the local community that somebody does without being paid, either because they want to, or because they have been ordered to by a court as a punishment. E.g. Criminals whose ​crime was not ​serious enough for them to be put in ​prison are sometimes ​ordered to do ​community ​service.

  • be/put somebody/spend X years on death row
Death row: the cells in a prison for prisoners who are waiting to be killed as punishment for a serious crime. E.g. prisoners on death row.

  • be granted/be denied/break (your) parole
Parole: /pəˈrəʊl/ permission that is given to a prisoner to leave prison before the end of their sentence on condition that they behave well. Sp. Libertad condicional. E.g. to be eligible for parole. She was released on parole.

  • probation: /prəˈbeɪʃn/ a system that allows a person who has committed a crime not to go to prison if they behave well and if they see an official (called a probation officer) regularly for a fixed period of time. Sp. libertad condicional. E.g. The prisoner was put on probation. He was given two years' probation.

Committing a crime:
  • commit a crime/a murder/a violent assault/a brutal killing/an armed robbery/fraud.

  • assault: the crime of attacking somebody physically. E.g. Both men were charged with assault.
  • assault and battery: the crime of threatening to harm somebody and then attacking them physically He was found guilty of assault and battery.
  • battery: (U) /ˈbætri/ /ˈbætəri/ the crime of attacking somebody physically.

  • be involved in terrorism/a suspected arson attack/people smuggling/human trafficking.

Smuggling:  the crime of taking, sending or bringing goods secretly and illegally into or out of a country. E.g. drug smuggling.

smuggle something/somebody (+ adv./prep.) to take, send or bring goods or people secretly and illegally into or out of a country, etc. E.g. They were caught smuggling diamonds into the country. smuggle drugs/weapons/arms/immigrants.

smuggler: a person who takes goods into or out of a country illegally. E.g. a drug smuggler.

traffic (in) something to buy and sell something illegally. E.g. Smugglers were trafficking arms across the border to the rebels. To traffic in drugs.

trafficker: a person who buys and sells something illegally. E.g. a drugs trafficker

drug dealing/trafficking

drug dealer

to sell drugs

  • engage/participate in criminal activity/illegal practices/acts of mindless vandalism.

Mindless: done or acting without thought. E.g. mindless violence. Mindless vandals.

  • steal somebody's wallet/purse/(British English) mobile phone/(North American English) cell phone. Steal sth. from sb.

  • rob a bank/a person/a tourist. Rob sb. of sth.

  • robber

  • robbery 

  • shoplifting: the crime of stealing goods from a shop/store by deliberately leaving without paying for them. E.g. They stole thousands of pounds’ worth of goods in a two-day shoplifting spree. She was convicted of shoplifting. 

  • shoplift: to steal goods from a shop/store by deliberately leaving without paying for them. E.g. She was caught trying to shoplift a pair of jeans.

  • shoplifter: a person who steals goods from a shop/store by deliberately leaving without paying for them. E.g. Shoplifters will be prosecuted. 

  • pilfer: /ˈpɪlfə(r)/ to steal things of little value or in small quantities, especially from the place where you work. E.g. pilfer (from somebody/something) He was caught pilfering. Pilfer something (from somebody/something) She regularly pilfered stamps from work. 

  • pilferage: /ˈpɪlfərɪdʒ/ the act of stealing things of little value or in small quantities, especially from the place where you work. E.g. pilferage of goods.

  • pilferer: /ˈpɪlfərə(r)/ a person who steals things of little value or in small quantities, especially from the place where they work Certain types of goods are preferred by pilferers.

  •  job: a crime, especially stealing. E.g. a bank job. He got six months for that last job he did. An inside job (= done by somebody in the organization where the crime happens) 

  • mug: mug somebody to attack somebody violently in order to steal their money, especially in a public place. E.g. She had been mugged in the street in broad daylight. 

  • mugger: a person who threatens or attacks somebody in order to steal their money, especially in a public place.

  • mugging: the crime of attacking somebody violently, or threatening to do so, in order to steal their money, especially in a public place. E.g. Mugging is on the increase. 
  • break into/(British English) burgle/(North American English) burglarize a house/a home/an apartment.

  • burglary: the crime of entering a building illegally and stealing things from it. E.g. The youth was charged with three counts of burglary.

  • burglar: a person who enters a building illegally in order to steal. E.g. Burglars broke into the gallery and stole dozens of priceless paintings. 
  • break-in: an entry into a building using force, usually to steal something. E.g. Police were called to three break-ins in the same area last night.

  • breaking and entering: the crime of entering a building illegally and using force

  • housebreaking: the crime of entering a house illegally by using force, in order to steal things from it.

  • trespass (on something) /ˈtrespəs/ to enter land or a building that you do not have permission or the right to enter. E.g. He told me I was trespassing on private land. The sign on the fence said ‘No trespassing’. 

  • trespasser: a person who goes onto somebody’s land without their permission. E.g. The notice read: ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted.’ 

  • heist: /haɪst/ an act of stealing something valuable from a shop/store or bank. E.g. a bank heist. It’s a tense thriller about a diamond heist that goes badly wrong. 

  • hold-up: an act of stealing from a bank, etc. using a gun. E.g. a hold-up at the local supermarket. 

  • hold up something: to steal from a bank, shop/store, etc. using a gun. E.g. Masked men held up a security van in South London yesterday.

  • joyriding: the crime of stealing a car and driving it for pleasure, usually in a fast and dangerous way 

  • hijack a plane/ship/bus.

  • hijacking

  • hijacker 

  • kidnap: kidnap somebody to take somebody away illegally and keep them as a prisoner, especially in order to get money or something else for returning them. Abduct. E.g. Two businessmen have been kidnapped by terrorists.

  • kidnapping (also kidnap): the crime of taking somebody away illegally and keeping them as a prisoner, especially in order to get money or something else for returning them. E.g. He admitted the charge of kidnap.

  • kidnapper: E.g. The kidnappers are demanding a ransom of $1 million.
  • abduct somebody /æbˈdʌkt/ to take somebody away illegally, especially using force. Kidnap. E.g. He had attempted to abduct the two children.

  • abductor: a person who abducts somebody.
  • abductee: /ˌæbdʌkˈtiː/ a person who has been abducted.

  • abduction: the act of taking somebody away illegally, especially using force. E.g. child abduction

  • fraud

  • to commit fraud

  • defraud
  • fraudster 

  •  Ponzi scheme: /ˈpɒnzi skiːm/ a plan for making money that involves encouraging people to invest by offering them a high rate of interest and using their money to pay earlier investors. When there are not enough new investors, people who have recently invested lose their money. Eponym from Charles Ponzi, who organized the first scheme of this kind in the US in 1919.

  • conman: a man who tricks others into giving him money, etc.  

  • con: (confidence trick) a trick; an act of cheating somebody. Sp. Estafa, timo. E.g. The so-called bargain was just a big con! He's a real con artist (= a person who regularly cheats others).

  • Scam: a clever and dishonest plan for making money. Sp. Estafa, timo. E.g. an insurance scam. 
  • swindler: a person who cheats somebody in order to get something, especially money, from them

  • launder drug money (through something).
Launder: /ˈlɔːndə(r)/ to move money that has been obtained illegally into foreign bank accounts or legal businesses so that it is difficult for people to know where the money came from. E.g. Most of the drugs money was laundered through Swiss bank accounts.

  • embezzle (something) to steal money that you are responsible for or that belongs to your employer. E.g. He was found guilty of embezzling $150 000 of public funds. 

  • embezzlement: the act of stealing money that you are responsible for or that belongs to your employer. E.g. She was found guilty of embezzlement. 

  • embezzler: /ɪmˈbezlə(r)/ a person who steals money that they are responsible for or that belongs to their employer. 

  • misappropriation: /ˌmɪsəˌprəʊpriˈeɪʃn/ the act of taking somebody else's money or property for yourself, especially when they have trusted you to take care of it the misappropriation of funds.

  • misappropriate: /ˌmɪsəˈprəʊprieɪt/ misappropriate something (formal) to take somebody else’s money or property for yourself, especially when they have trusted you to take care of it. Embezzle. E.g. He is accused of misappropriating money from the company’s pension fund. 

  • racketeering: /ˌrækəˈtɪərɪŋ/ the activity of making money through dishonest or illegal activities. Sp. crimen organizado. E.g. He was charged with fraud and racketeering.

  • racketeer: /ˌrækəˈtɪə(r)/ a person who makes money through dishonest or illegal activities.

  • racket: /ˈrækɪt/ a dishonest or illegal way of getting money. Sp. estafa. E.g. a protection/ extortion/ drugs, etc. racket

  • protection racket: (Sp. extorsión a cambio de protección) an extortion scheme whereby a powerful organization, most often a criminal organization or gang, coerces individuals or businesses to pay protection money which allegedly serves to purchase the organization's "protection" services against various external threats. Those who do not buy into the protection plan are often targeted by criminals existing outside of the organization. These crimes are typically thought to originate from the organization itself. When a business refuses to pay for protection, word is put out that they are outside of the local organisation's protection (these organisations often exist in the absence of a trusted police force) and that the business in question is therefore free game for freelance criminals or the organization itself.
  • tax evasion: the crime of deliberately not paying all the taxes that you should pay.

  • tax avoidance: ways of paying only the smallest amount of tax that you legally have to.
  • forge documents/certificates/passports.

  • take/accept/pay somebody/offer (somebody) a bribe.

  • bribery: E.g. She was arrested on bribery charges. allegations of bribery and corruption.

  • to bribe: to give somebody money or something valuable in order to persuade them to help you, especially by doing something dishonest. E.g. bribe somebody (with something) They bribed the guards with cigarettes. bribe somebody into doing something She was bribed into handing over secret information. bribe somebody to do something She bribed him to sign the certificate.

  • blackmail: the crime of demanding money from a person by threatening to tell somebody else a secret about them.

  • to blackmail

  • blackmailer 
  • cybercrime: /ˈsaɪbəkraɪm/ crime that is committed using the Internet, for example by stealing somebody’s personal or bank details or infecting their computer with a virus.

  • run a phishing/an email/an Internet scam.

Phishing: the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers, etc. over the Internet or by email, and then using these to steal money from them.

  • piracy: /ˈpaɪrəsi/ 1 the crime of attacking ships at sea in order to steal from them. 2 the act of making illegal copies of DVDs, computer programs, books, etc., in order to sell them software piracy.
  • indecent exposure: the crime of showing your sexual organs to other people in a public place.

  • stalking: the crime of following and watching somebody over a long period of time in a way that is annoying or frightening. E.g. An undercover detective said ‘Stalking has become a problem that we must take seriously.’ 

  •  manslaughter: the crime of killing somebody illegally but not deliberately. E.g. The charge has been reduced to manslaughter. 

  • unlawful killing: a murder or other killing which is considered a crime, for example when a person dies because somebody is careless. E.g. The two police officers were accused of unlawful killing. (unlawful: illegal).

  • terrorism: the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act. E.g. an act of terrorism. the fight against terrorism. The government has sworn to do everything in its power to combat terrorism.

  • terror: violent action or the threat of violent action that is intended to cause fear, usually for political purposes. Terrorism. E.g.  a campaign of terror. terror tactics. a terror attack

  • terrorist

  • terrorise: to frighten and threaten people so that they will not oppose something or will do as they are told. E.g. terrorize somebody drug dealers terrorizing the neighbourhood. terrorize somebody into doing something People were terrorized into leaving their homes. 

  • infanticide: /ɪnˈfæntɪsaɪd/ the crime of killing a baby; a person who is guilty of this crime. E.g. These conditions lead to neglect, child abuse, and even infanticide.  

  • matricide: /ˈmætrɪsaɪd/ the crime of killing your mother; a person who is guilty of this crime.

  • fratricide: /ˈfrætrɪsaɪd/ the crime of killing your brother or sister; a person who is guilty of this crime. 2 the crime of killing people of your own country or group; a person who is guilty of this crime.  

  • patricide: the crime of killing your father; a person who is guilty of this crime.

  • perjury: /ˈpɜːdʒəri/ the crime of telling a lie in court. E.g. The defence witnesses were found guilty of perjury. To commit perjury. 

  • treason: /ˈtriːzn/ (also high treason)the crime of doing something that could cause danger to your country, such as helping its enemies during a war. E.g. an act of high treason against the English crown. They were charged with treason and sentenced to death.

  • vandalism: the crime of destroying or damaging something, especially public property, deliberately and for no good reason an act of vandalism The troublemakers embarked on a £30 000 vandalism spree. Police condemned the damage as an act of mindless vandalism.

  • vandal: a person who deliberately destroys or damages public property.

  • vandalise: /ˈvændəlaɪz/ to damage something, especially public property, deliberately and for no good reason. E.g. The pay phone had been vandalized and wasn’t working.

Fighting crime:
  • combat/fight crime/terrorism/corruption/drug trafficking.

  • prevent/stop credit-card fraud/child abuse/software piracy.

  • deter/stop criminals/burglars/thieves/shoplifters/vandals.

Deter (deterring, deterred) /dɪˈtɜː(r)/ to make somebody decide not to do something or continue doing something, especially by making them understand the difficulties and unpleasant results of their actions. Sp. Disuadir. E.g. I told him I wasn't interested, but he wasn't deterred.The high price of the service could deter people from seeking advice.

  • reduce/tackle/crack down on knife/gun/violent/street crime; (especially British English) antisocial behaviour. 

Crack down (on somebody/something): to try harder to prevent an illegal activity and deal more severely with those who are caught doing it. Sp. Ponerse serio/duro. E.g. Police are cracking down on drug dealers.

  • foil a bank raid/a terrorist plot.

Foil: to stop something from happening, especially something illegal; to prevent somebody from doing something. Sp. Frustrar. 

  • help/support/protect the victims of crime.

Investigating crime:
  • report a crime/a theft/a rape/an attack/(especially British English) an incident to the police.

  • witness the crime/attack/murder/incident.

  • investigate a murder/a burglary/a robbery/the alleged incident.

  • conduct/launch/pursue an investigation (into…); (especially British English) a police/murder inquiry.

  • investigate/reopen a criminal/murder case.

  • examine/investigate/find fingerprints at the crime scene/the scene of crime.

  • collect/gather forensic evidence.
Forensic: /fəˈrensɪk/ connected with the scientific tests used by the police when trying to solve a crime. E.g. forensic evidence/science/tests. The forensic laboratory.

  • uncover new evidence/a fraud/a scam/a plot/a conspiracy/political corruption/a cache of weapons.


a clever and dishonest plan for making money. Sp. Estafa, timo. E.g. an insurance scam.

Plotplot (to do something) 

a secret plan made by a group of people to do something wrong or illegal. Conspiracy. Sp. complot, conspiración. E.g. Police uncovered a plot against the president.


/kæʃ/ a hidden store of things such as weapons. Haul. Stash. Sp. Alijo. E.g. an arms cache.


  • describe/identify a suspect/the culprit/the perpetrator/the assailant/the attacker.

Culprit: /ˈkʌlprɪt/ a person who has done something wrong or against the law. Sp. Culpable. E.g. The police quickly identified the real culprits.

Perpetrator: /ˈpɜːpətreɪtə(r)/ a person who commits a crime or does something that is wrong or evil. Sp. Autor. E.g. the perpetrators of the crime. We will do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice.

assailant: /əˈseɪlənt/ a person who attacks somebody, especially physically. Attacker. E.g. The alleged assailants appeared in court.

  • question/interrogate a suspect/witness.

  • solve/crack the case
Crack something: to find the solution to a problem, etc; to find the way to do something difficult. E.g. to crack the enemy's code (informal). After a year in this job I think I've got it cracked!

Crime and punishment: vocabulary with pronunciation

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