Idioms about courts and law

Get one’s knuckles rapped

To get your knuckles rapped is to get punishment for something you did.

  • The boy got his knuckles rapped because he hadn’t done his homework.

Get something out in the open

To get something out in the open is to force someone to reveal a secret.

  • The lawyer tried every trick in the book to get things out in the open during the trial.

Get the benefit of the doubt

You get the benefit of the doubt when the judgment is in your favor because the evidence is neither against you nor for you.

  • As there were no conclusive evidences against him, he got the benefit of the doubt.

Give someone a fair shake

To give someone a fair shake is to treat them fairly.

  • He expressed his hope that the judge would give him a fair shake at his trial.

Give someone a slap on the wrist

To give someone a slap on the wrist is to give them light punishment.

  • The teenager who got into a fight at the pub was given a slap on the wrist and asked to do community work as compensation for the offence he committed.

Go by the book

To go by the book is to follow the rules exactly.

  • Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to go by the book.

Grain of truth

The smallest amount of truth

  • There was not even a grain of truth in what he said.