Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Conviction

Quick Summary of Conviction

A formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.

What is the dictionary definition of Conviction?

Dictionary Definition

A finding by a judge or jury that the defendant is guilty of a crime.

  1. A firmly held belief.
  2. A judgement of guilt in a court of law.
  3. The state of being found or proved guilty.
  4. The state of being convinced.

n. the result of a criminal trial in which the defendant has been found guilty of a crime.

Full Definition of Conviction

A conviction is the ruling judgment of guilt against a defendant. After the conviction, the court or jury will sentence the defendant according to the sentencing guidelines. After a conviction, the defendant may be given a sentence including fines, prison or other criminal reparations. For civil cases, if the defendant loses their civil case they are required to pay money to compensate a victim for their injuries. Expenses which the defendant must pay may include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and death benefits to surviving beneficiaries.

Prior to a conviction, both parties in a case (the defendant and the plaintiff) have the opportunity to provide their evidence to the court. For criminal cases, the state must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction, while civil cases have a much lower bar which is generally through a preponderance of evidence.

The civil and criminal trials must be conducted in a way which meets legal guidelines for a conviction to stand. If the legal guidelines are not followed during the criminal and civil cases the defendant, even if they are convicted, may make an appeal to a higher court.

Synonyms For Conviction

condemnation, judgment of conviction, sentence

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Conviction. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 26, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Conviction. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 26, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Conviction. Retrieved September 26, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Conviction are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 19 Views.