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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)


noun 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


a 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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Geerdink said she was expecting the acquittal and expressed happiness over the court ruling.
Chandrasekharan's widow K K Rema said she did not know the reasons for the acquittal of the 20 accused, and added that the acquittal would not weaken the case.
The CBI said that its legal department has studied the judgement and highlighted several strong grounds on the basis of which it is likely to approach the Delhi High Court challenging the acquittal of Kumar.
A similar acquittal order was issued by South Cairo Criminal Court on 15 April, ordering Mubarak's release after he was charged with killing protesters during the 25 January revolution.
Georgiev received Thursday his second acquittal, after he was cleared of tax evasion the tune of around BGN 95A 000 in the period 2006-2008.
The country's Attorney General refused to resign Thursday after President Mohamed Morsi dismissed him I a bid to calm the anger of the Egyptian people after the acquittal of former regime officials.
The judge's legal justification for his overall ruling practically guarantees Mubarak and El-Adly's acquittal on appeal" before the Court of Cassation, the highest criminal appeals court in the land.
This acquittal represents the third consecutive contested federal criminal indictment in which Dilworth's counsel Patrick A.
PROSECUTORS yesterday lodged an appeal against the acquittal of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend for Meredith Kercher's murder.
As well as countless news stories, the case also led to a controversial TV movie, and in the wake of her recent acquittal, we should probably expect more versions of her story.
As well as countless news stories, the case also led to a controversial TV movie Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, and in the wake of her recent acquittal, we should probably brace ourselves for more versions of her story.
Summary: Meredith Kercher's family vow to support an appeal against Knox's acquittal as the American student flies home to Seattle.