Mutilate Law and Legal Definition
Mutilate is a term of varied meanings, such as:
- to deprive of a limb or an essential part, or to make a cripple.
- to disfigure by damaging irreparably. This mostly refers to mutilating things.
- to make imperfect by excising or altering parts.
With respect to public records, to mutilate means cutting, tearing, erasing, or otherwise changing a document in a way that changes or destroys its legal effect. It is a federal crime to mutilate public records, coins, or passports. Under criminal law, mutilation is the crime of violently, maliciously, and intentionally giving someone a serious and permanent wound.