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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 ?
Al-Kilany also thinks that the appeal filed by the public prosecution might overturn the acquittals.
The number of acquittals is actually too low in both overall cases, and the so called benchmark cases.
A Public Prosecution representative addressed the court, demanding that the acquittals be overturned and that all the defendants be convicted.
However, the prosecutor in November appealed against the acquittals and rejected the court's explanations, claiming the court had not understood the circumstances of the case and that its decision was built on "assumed premises that clashed with the reality on the ground and the relevant reports.
Acquittals are the mystery disposition of the criminal justice system.
The inquiry has concluded it should be possible to quash acquittals in murder trials where there is 'reliable and compelling new evidence of guilt' and that the new law should apply retrospectively.
Coppola's family, already crushed by Wednesday's acquittals, cried in anguish and disbelief.
And the new rules should apply to past acquittals, potentially allowing the youths cleared of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence to be retried, the Home Affairs Committee said.
Lungren told reporters he also hoped to avoid a trial that could work to further inflame a city polarized by Simpson's acquittals in the June 12, 1994, slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Prosecutors were targeted with criticism by many after Simpson's acquittals, and success by the families in the civil trial could have a mixed impact on the District Attorney's Office.
On top of that, "With all the hung juries and acquittals, I'm sure they're feeling some pressure to convict," Thornton said.
On Tuesday, she told jurors she was not allowed to tell them why she now seeks acquittals.