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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 65% of acquittals, the apex court cast serious doubts on the reliability of police investigations.
In the third appeal the appellant Muhammad Iqbal has also challenged the acquittal of the two convicts, Asad and Arif in some provisions of Pakistan Penal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act.
New Delhi [India], Mar 23 ( ANI ): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the acquittal of former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the 2G spectrum case.
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.
Jury's Silence on Theory of First-Degree Murder Not an Acquittal for Double Jeopardy Purposes--Commonwealth v.
The acquittals were filed by the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau, the company added.
Since the average juror lacked a sense of the judicial process, argued a justice of the peace named Jules Levy in 1875, he was likely to make troubling acquittals that were "less like judgments than letters of pardon." He continued: "Certain assemblies, even while recognizing guilt, believe they must absolve.
What explains the disappearance of acquittals in recent decades?
In the wake of the 1982 insanity acquittal for attempted presidential assassin John Hickley, many states narrowed their legal definitions of insanity in hopes of undermining the attractiveness and success of this controversial defense (SN: 10/6/84, p.218).
In North Carolina, where I was a Duke student at the time, many shrugged off the injustice of both the killings and the acquittals. That attitude wasn't confined to the Piedomont.
Karachi's anti-corruption court decided 75 cases (66 acquittals and only nine convictions); Sukkur's court decided 33 cases (31 acquittals and only two conviction); Hyderabad's court decided only three cases, acquitting all the accused; Larkana's anti-corruption court decided 27 cases, also acquitting all the accused.
He said that the police can appeal acquittals in the high court or Supreme Court.