Legal Dictionary

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Abuse of Discretion

Discretion is the power of a judge to make decisions on various matters within general legal guidelines. Abuse of discretion can be found if the judge does not apply the correct law or if he bases his decision on a clearly incorrect finding of material fact. Abuse of discretion may also be found when the court makes a decision, but there is no evidence in the record to support it. When there is a finding of abuse of discretion, it does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing, only that the court has committed an error.