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The legal and formal certification of the innocence of a person who has been charged with a crime.
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.
n. what an accused criminal defendant receives if he/she is found not guilty. It is a verdict (a judgment in a criminal case) of not guilty. (See: acquit)
acquittalnoun absolutio, absolution, acquitment, acquittance, amnesty, clearance, compurgation, discharge, dismissal, exculpation, exoneration, favorable verdict, letting off, liberatio, liberation, pardon, purgation, quittance, release, remission, reprieve, restoration, verdict of not guilty, vindication
Associated concepts: acquittal by a jury
Foreign phrases: Paribus sententiis reus absolvitur.When the opinions are equal, where the court is equally divided, the defendant is acquitted.
See also: absolution, compurgation, condonation, discharge, emancipation, exoneration, immunity, impunity, liberation, pardon, payment, release, remission, remittance, reprieve, respite, satisfaction, waiver
acquittala decision of a court that a defendant prosecuted for a criminal offence is not guilty. It also describes the Scottish verdict of NOT PROVEN.
ACQUITTAL, contracts. A release or discharge from an obligation or engagement. According to Lord Coke there are three kinds of acquittal, namely; 1. By deed, when the party releases the obligation; 2. By prescription; 3. By tenure. Co. Lit. 100, a.
ACQUITTAL, crim. law practice. The absolution of a party charged with a
crime or misdemeanor.
2. Technically speaking, acquittal is - the absolution of a party accused on a trial before a traverse jury. 1 N. & M. 36; 3 McCord, 461.
3. Acquittals are of two kinds, in fact and in law. The former takes place when the jury upon trial finds a verdict of not guilty; the latter when a man is charged merely as an accessary, and the principal has been acquitted. 2 Inst. 384. An acquittal is a bar to any future prosecution for the offence alleged in the first indictment.