void for vagueness

void for vagueness
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
   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.

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