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Related to guilty: not guilty


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 ?
| Malcolm Gee, 66 and of Grenville Terrace, Ashton-under-Lyne, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce Class B (amphetamine); production of Class B (cannabis); possession of Class A (cocaine); possession of criminal property - cash and possession of Class B (cannabis) and was jailed for six years and nine months.
David Heys, 55, of Wheatley Road, Burnley, Lancashire pleaded guilty to participating in the criminal activities of an organised crime group.
Frankie Robertson, 46, of Carbondale, pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing, a Class B misdemeanor.
Only one verdict may be returned as to [the crime] [each crime] charged [, except as to Count ([begin strikethrough]insert number[end strikethrough] insert number), where the defendant can be found guilty of more than one lesser included crime].
Lee Stephenson, 29, of Warkworth Crescent, Newburn, pleaded guilty to possessing a knuckle duster and possessing cannabis.
Antwone Bennett, 18, of Brockton, was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to 18 months in jail with six months to serve.
Kieran Dougs Ferguson, 23, of Lindley Road, Stoke, pleaded guilty to drink-driving.
At Ennis Circuit Court, he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual exploitation and four of the defilement of the girl who was aged 15.
Dean Mernagh July 2007 Suspended nine months - guilty of communicating inside information, some of which was to Culhane, for some form of reward
Arkansas Business reported incorrectly last week that Miller had personally pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud.
Thomas More--a modern man who can't quite buy the ideology that there are no sins and there is nothing to feel guilty about--is battling to recover a sense of guilt, which in turn will provide the essential foothold for contrition, which in turn can motivate confession and repentance.