guilty(redirected from guiltiness)
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Blameworthy; culpable; having committed a tort or crime; devoid of innocence.
An individual is guilty if he or she is responsible for a delinquency or a criminal or civil offense. When an accused is willing to accept legal responsibility for a criminal act, he or she pleads guilty. Similarly, a jury returns a verdict of guilty upon finding that a defendant has committed a crime. In the event that a jury is not convinced that a defendant has committed a crime, jurors can return a verdict of not guilty, which does not mean that the individual is innocent or that the jurors are so convinced, but rather that they do not believe sufficient evidence has been presented to prove that the defendant is guilty.
In civil lawsuits, the term guilty does not imply criminal responsibility but refers to mis-conduct.
adj. having been convicted of a crime or having admitted the commission of a crime by pleading "guilty" (saying you did it). A defendant may also be found guilty by a judge after a plea of "no contest," or in Latin "nolo contendere." The term "guilty" is also sometimes applied to persons against whom a judgment has been found in a lawsuit for a civil wrong, such as negligence or some intentional act like assault or fraud, but that is a confusing misuse of the word since it should only apply to a criminal charge. (See: admission of guilt, cop a plea, plea bargain)
guiltythe plea by an accused that he accepts that he committed the offence charged or the finding to that effect by a court or jury. See also NOT GUILTY, NOT PROVEN.
GUILTY. The state or condition of a person who has committed a crime,
misdemeanor or offence.
2. This word implies a malicious intent, and must be applied to something universally allowed to be a crime. Cowp. 275.
3. In pleading, it is a plea by which a defendant who is charged with a crime, misdemeanor or tort, admits or confesses it. In criminal proceedings, when the accused is arraigned, the clerk asks him,: How say you, A B, are you guilty or not guilty?" His answer, which is given ore tenus, is called his plea; and when he admits the charge in the indictment he answers or pleads guilty.