Legal Terms in Costa Rica

Costa Rican Legal Terms
By Christopher Howard

LEGAL TERMS / TERMINOS LEGALES
A person who lends his name – Testaferro
Absolve – Absolver
Accusation – Denuncia
Accused person – Acusado
Accuser – Denunciante
Alibi – Coartada
Alimony – Pensión alimenticia
Appeal – Apelación
Appearance in court – Comparecencia
Acquit – Sobreseer
Arrest warrant. – Orden de captura, orden de aprensión, orden de arresto
Attach assets – Embargar/enganchar
Bar – Colegio de Abogados (Costa Rican equivalent)
Bail – Fianza
Beyond a reasonable doubt – Más allá de una duda razonable
Case – Caso
Civil code – Código civil
Civil law – Derecho civil
Common property (in a divorce – Bienes comunes
Contract – Contrato
Copyright – derecho de autor
Court – Tribunal/corte
Court of appeals .- Corte de apelaciónes
Court appointed attorney – Abogado de oficio
Courtroom – Sala de justicia
Crime – Crimen
Criminal law – Derecho penal
Criminal lawyer – Abogado penalista
Custody – Patria potestad
Custody while awaiting trial – Prisión preventiva
DA – Fiscal
Defend – Defender
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Defense attorney – Abogado defensor
Defraud – Defraudar
Demandado – Person being sued
Disbar – Echar del Colegio de Abogados
District Attorney – Fiscal
Divorce – Divorcio
Due dillgance – Diligencia debida
Easement – Servidumbre
Executor – Albacea
Execution of the verdict – Ejecución de la pena
Embezzlement – Desfalco
Encumberance – Gravamen
Evidence – Evidencia or pruebas
Eye witness – Testigo ocular
False witness – Testigo falso
Fees – Honorarios
Felony – Delito mayor
Fight case -.Pelear el caso
Find guilty – Encontrar culpable
Find innocent – Encontrar inocente
Fine – Multa
Fraud – Fraude
Guilt – Culpa
Guilty – Culpable
Hearing – Audiencia
Higher court – Corte superior
House arrest – Arresto domiciliario or casa poir cárcel
Illegal- Ilegal/prohibido
Illegal enrichment – Enriquecimiento ilícito
Impediment to leave country – Impedimento de salida
Innocent – Inocente
Judge – Juez (masc.)/Jueza (fem.)
Jury – Jurado (none in Costa Rica)
Key witness – Testigo clave
Law suit – Demanda
Lawyer – Abogado
Lawyer’s bar – Colegio de Abogados
Legal – Legal
Red Tape 351
Legal form – Papel sellado
Lose a case– Perder un caso
Lower court – Corte inferior
Manslaughter – Homocido simple or homicidio sin premeditación
Misappropriate funds – Malversar
Misdemeanor – Delito menor
Not guilty – No culpable/absuelto
Notary – Notario
Notary’s records – protocolo
Notarize – Autenticar
Out of court settlement – Llegar a un acuerdo extrajudicialment
Party (people) – La parte
Person who plans a crime – Autor intelectual
Protective measures – Medidas cautelares
Plaintiff. – .Demandante or Querellante
Plea – Alegato or Alegación
Possession is 9/10 of the law – La ley de poseción
Press charges – Presentar cargos
Power of attorney – Poder
Probate – Sucesorio
Property – Propiedad
Prosecutor – Fiscal/procurador
Restraining order – Orden de alejamiento
Retainer – Pago anticipado de honorarios
Ruling- Fallo
Sentence – Condena/sentencia/pena
Stockholder/shareholder – Accionista
Signature – Firma
Squatter – Precarist
Suit – Demanda/ Querella
Summons – Citación
Suspect – Imputado
Take the case (lawyer) – Llevar el caso
Take to trial – Llevar a juicio
Tax evasion- Evasión fiscal
Testify – Declarar
Testify against – Testificar/declarar contra
Testify for – Tesitificar/declarar a favor de…
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The right to enjoy a thing owned by another person – Usofructo (Like
living in their home)
To appear in court – Comparecer
To dismiss a case – Desestimar
To record in the nation al registry – Protocolizar
To rule against – Fallar en contra de
To rule in a case – Fallar
To rule in favor of – Fallar a favor de
Trial – Juicio
Tribunal – made up of three judges
Trust – Fidecomiso
Trustee – Fidecomisario
Try – Juzgar/enjuiciar
Verdict – Fallo
Will – Testamento
Win a case – Ganar un caso
Witness – Testigo
* From Christopher Howard’s Guide to Costa Rican Spanish and the forthcoming
Guide to the Costa Rican Legal System.

For English / Spanish speaking attorneys in Costa Rica in all fields, see http://munozglobal.com

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