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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 ?
BEIRUT: After two days of unsatisfactory oral submissions on the possible acquittal of Hassan Oneissi at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Trial Chamber President Judge David Re requested Thursday that both defense and prosecution teams provide written submissions.
The FIA had filed the appeal against the acquittal of Mr Sheikh in the money laundering case in 2016, arguing that he was exonerated from charges by the trial court despite strong evidence that proved the Axact chief's involvement in money laundering.
De Lima said the 'judicial miracles' started when former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was granted bail by the Supreme Court (SC) in his pork barrel cases, followed by the acquittal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the SC over the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund scam.
The court justified their acquittals on the basis of lack of evidence.
If the highest court overturns the acquittal, prosecutors would be free to request Knox's extradition to Italy to finish her sentence.
at 774 (discussing convictions where silence alone did not imply acquittal unless logically compelled); see also supra note 26 and accompanying text (addressing convictions where courts implied acquittals only if logic demanded).
The court rejected an appeal from prosecutors to reconsider Ahmed's acquittal, partly because he had already been sentenced to eight years in prison in Italy and could not be condemned again for the same crime.
The acquittals were filed by the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau, the company added.
The perplexing issue of acquittals in the fin-de-siecle assize court was nothing less than the failure of the state system of justice to displace a popular system of justice.
She argues that the Supreme Court should stop overturning so many acquittals and reform the haphazard lower court procedures that open the door to numerous appeals.
Acquittals and dismissals play a starring role in the trial distortion story.
That's the advice some music industry insiders have for Michael Jackson in the wake of his acquittals Monday on charges of conspiracy and child molestation.