guilt

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guilt

responsibility for a criminal or moral offence deserving punishment or a penalty.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

GUILT, crim. law. That quality which renders criminal and liable to punishment; or it is that disposition to violate the law, which has manifested itself by some act already done. The opposite of innocence. Vide Rutherf. Inst. B. 1, c. 18, s. 10.
     2. In general everyone is presumed innocent until guilt has been proved; but in some cases the presumption of guilt overthrows that of innocence; as, for example, where a party destroys evidence to which the opposite party is entitled. The spoliation of papers, material to show the neutral character of a vessel, furnishes strong presumption against the neutrality of the ship. 2 Wheat. 227. Vide Spoliation.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.