Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which the person has been charged.
A decision by a judge or jury that a defendant in a criminal case is not guilty of a crime. An acquittal is not a finding of innocence; it is simply a conclusion that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The legal and formal certification of the innocence of a person who has been charged with a crime.
To be acquitted of a crime is to be deemed to be innocent of the charges after a court hearing. This is different from a Discharge, where the case is never heard. In general, a defendant who is acquitted can not be tried again for the same offence. If more than one defendant is on trial for the same offence (see: Accomplice), the acquittal of one of them is not admissible as evidence in favour of the others. A conviction, however, is admissible against the other defendants. This is because an acquittal is not `proof’ of innocence, it is merely an indication that the prosecution did not establish a case strong enough for a conviction. In other words, `innocent until proven guilty’ does not mean that `all are innocent until all are proven guilty’.
Acquittals in fact take place when a jury finds a verdict of not guilty. Acquittals in law take place by operation of law such as when a person has been charged as an accessory to the crime of robbery and the principal has been acquitted.
The judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, a verdict of “not guilty.”
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th October, 2021 | 25 Views.