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: a person who has been arrested for or formally charged with a crime
: the defendant in a criminal case [the shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial "U.S. Constitution amend. VI"] NOTE: Certain rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as the right to counsel, become effective once a person is characterized as an accused.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.