The Law Dictionary

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ILLEGAL Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Not authorized by law; Illicit ; unlawful; contrary to law.Sometimes this term means merely that which lacks authority of or support from law;but more frequently it imports a violation. Etymo- logicaily, the word seems to conveythe negative meaning only. But in ordinary use it has a severer, stronger signification;the idea of censure or condemnation for breaking law is usually presented. But the lawimplied in illegal is not necessarily an express statute. Tilings are called “illegal” for aviolation of common-law principles. And the term does not imply that the act spoken ofis immoral or wicked; it implies only a breach of the law. See State v. Ilaynorth, 3Sneed (Tenn.) 65; Tiedt v. Carstensen, 61 Iowa, 334, 10 N. W. 214; Chadhourne v.Newcastle, 48 N. II. 199; People v. Kelly, 1 Abb. Prac. N. S., (N. Y.) 437; Ex parteScwartz, 2 Tex. App. 80.


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