This word has several meanings: (A) Criminal Law. Refers to the primary perpetrator of a crime. (B) Legal Documents. A person who appoints their own agent in a document, for example, the person creating a power of attorney document and appoints an attorney-in-fact or agent to manage affairs and take action on behalf of the principal. (C) Commercial Law. The total amount of a loan, not inclusive of any interest or capitalization fees. (D) Trust Law. The corpus (Latin for body) or trust property as opposed to the income generated by that property.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
Chief; leading; highest in . rank or degree; most important or considerable; primary; original; the source of authority or right. In criminal law. A chief actor or perpetrator, as distinguished from an “accessary.” A principal in the first degree is he that is the actor or absolute perpetrator of the crime; and, in the second degree, he who Is present, aiding and abetting the fact to be done. 4 Bl. Comm. 34. And see Bean v. State, 17 Tex. App. 60; Mitchell v. Com., 33 Grat (Va.) 868; Cooney v. Burke, 11 Neb. 258, 9 N. W. 57; Red v. State, 39 Tex. Cr. R. 667, 47 S. W. 1003, 73 Am. St Rep. 965; State v. Phillips, 24 Mo. 481; Travis v. Com., 96 Ky. 77, 27 S. W. 863. All persons concerned in the commission of crime, whether it be felony or misdemeanor, and whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, or aid and abet in its commission, though not present, are principals. Pen. Code Dak.