Penalty Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Penalty.

Penalty (noun)

A consequence or punishment that a court of law can impose on someone who is found guilty of a criminal action or violation of a law. In criminal law, penalties can include imprisonment, fines, or the forfeiture of property. In civil law, penalties can involve monetary fines or other sanctions for businesses for things like operating without a proper license or making late payments on legal agreements such as promissory notes or leases.