void for vagueness
adj.
Describes a statute so obscure, difficult to understand, or unclear that it is impossible for ordinarily intelligent people to agree on a meaning, and so it must be void.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


void for vagueness
A civil or criminal statute that is so unclear or ambiguous that a reasonable person of average intelligence could not determine its meaning or application. A vague criminal statute is unconstitutional on the basis that a defendant could not defend against a charge which could not be understood. (See also: due process of law)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


void for vagueness
n. When it becomes necessary for a person of average intelligence to guess at the meaning of a law or how that law is to be applied, the statute is constitutionally void for vagueness. A criminal statute may be vague for how it is to be applied, to whom it applies, what conduct is forbidden, or what the punishment is for violating it.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

void for vagueness
adj.
   referring to a statute defining a crime which is so vague that a reasonable person of at least average intelligence could not determine what elements constitute the crime. Such a vague statute is unconstitutional on the basis that a defendant could not defend against a charge of a crime which he/she could not understand, and thus would be denied "due process" mandated by the 5th Amendment, applied to the states by the 14th Amendment.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Void for vagueness — is a legal concept in American constitutional law, whereby a civil statute or, more commonly, a criminal statute is adjudged unconstitutional when it is so vague that persons of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ …   Wikipedia

  • void–for–vagueness doctrine — n: a doctrine requiring that a penal statute define a criminal offense with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited and in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement ◇… …   Law dictionary

  • void for vagueness doctrine — A doctrine derived from the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that requires criminal laws to be drafted in language that is clear enough for the average person to comprehend. Dictionary from West… …   Law dictionary

  • vagueness — index ambiguity, confusion (ambiguity), doubt (indecision), ignorance, incertitude, indistinctness …   Law dictionary

  • vagueness doctrine — n: void for vagueness doctrine Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • for — prep 1: because of a statute void for vagueness 2: on behalf of: as the representative of attorney general s office for petitioner Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Vagueness — Ambiguity is one way in which the meanings of words and phrases can be unclear, but there is another way, which is different from ambiguity: vagueness. One example of a vague concept is the concept of a heap. Two or three grains of sand is not a… …   Wikipedia

  • void — Null; ineffectual; nugatory; having no legal force or binding effect; unable, in law, to support the purpose for which it was intended. Hardison v. Gledhill, 72 Ga.App. 432, 33 S.E.2d 921, 924. An instrument or transaction which is wholly… …   Black's law dictionary

  • vagueness doctrine — Under this principle, a law (e.g., criminal statute) which does not fairly inform a person of what is commanded or prohibited is unconstitutional as violative of due process. The doctrine originates in due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment,… …   Black's law dictionary

  • City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health — Supreme Court of the United States Argued 30 November …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”