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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.

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


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)

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


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

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Psychological control for guiltiness was found to be statistically significant (p <0.05) for the girls, whereas for the 14-16 year old group the difference was found to be statistically significant when the sportsmen scoring scores were examined.
Angelo's repentance seems genuine as he confesses: O my dread lord, I should be guiltier than my guiltiness To think I can be undiscernible, When I perceive your grace, like power divine, Hath looked upon my passes.
During the session, the defendants pleaded not guilty, but the Military Prosecution asserted that investigations and reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory are enough proofs of their guiltiness.
He said that to enforce law and comply with its provisions, all sides whose guiltiness will be proved will be prosecuted.
(34) Even Calvin recommends a kind of confession and other signs of guiltiness upon affliction by calamities (Institutes, 3.4.11), although he sees such behaviors as helping not to obtain forgiveness, but to identify those cast down.
In an interview with CNN TV channel, Davutoglu said that Israel's rejection of an international committee indicated their guiltiness.
Their own unbearable guiltiness. To load it up still more on the back of the ever-willing African as if he is not carrying enough and has not for the past 500 years!
"The nexus between the irreversible dissolution -the pre-announced 'death of the sun'- with the electric consciousness which followed afterwards is a nexus of guiltiness. Technical gifts originated from guilt; through them the gloomy conscience of science demands forgiveness." -See also, Ibid.
If Anderegg is now right--in part because of Branagh's own work and influence--about the Shakespearean film genre's special relation to the language and conventions of its literary source (2-13) and if generic contracts are like oaths, Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost reveals that the filmmaker is "perjured much, / Full of dear guiltiness" (5.2.784-85).
The 'warm' Mediterranean plays were preferred to the 'cold' northern ones, and tragedies of accident were preferred to conflicts of innate guiltiness. Hamlet and Macbeth were thus especially unsuited to the official optimism about the human spirit.
In an ecstacy of indulgent self-hate, she confesses her guiltiness: