Laws Lawyers Find Laws Legal Forms State Laws Bills
Home » Find Laws » Court Laws » Acquitted

Acquitted

Listen
Acquittal is a legal term which refers to the formal designation of a criminal defendant as free from all charges.A criminal defendant can be acquitted at any stage of the criminal process.Once a defendant is acquitted of criminal charges, double jeopardy rules does not allow the defendant to be charged with the same criminal charges twice.Therefore, acquittal is a final determination that a criminal defendant can no longer face charges for that crime. The following are some ways in which an acquittal can be achieved by a criminal defendant: 1. If a criminal case is taken all the way through a jury or bench trial, in which a final decision of “not guilty” is rendered.The defendant is then acquitted of the charges and can never face them again. 2. If a criminal defendant reaches trial, a jury is empaneled, and the charges are thrown out on the basis of law or procedural grounds.A mistrial will not acquit the defendant, however a determination by the judge that the prosecution could not meet the burden of proof will acquit the defendant. 3.If the prosecution abandons the trial after a jury is empaneled. While acquittal bars retrial in the criminal court, a civil lawsuit can still be brought on the same facts and circumstances as that acquittal. Because the burden of proof in a civil trial is much lower than in criminal proceedings, a defendant may face civil liability but not criminal liability. A defendant can also not claim double jeopardy if an acquittal is brought by bribing or threatening a judge or juror involved in the case.
Font Size: AAA
Loading...
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Volume:
  • Mute
  • Half
  • Max
  • Acquitted



    Acquittal is a legal term which refers to the formal designation of a criminal defendant as free from all charges. A criminal defendant can be acquitted at any stage of the criminal process. Once a defendant is acquitted of criminal charges, double jeopardy rules does not allow the defendant to be charged with the same criminal charges twice. Therefore, acquittal is a final determination that a criminal defendant can no longer face charges for that crime.

    The following are some ways in which an acquittal can be achieved by a criminal defendant:

    1. If a criminal case is taken all the way through a jury or bench trial, in which a final decision of “not guilty” is rendered. The defendant is then acquitted of the charges and can never face them again.

    2. If a criminal defendant reaches trial, a jury is empaneled, and the charges are thrown out on the basis of law or procedural grounds. A mistrial will not acquit the defendant, however a determination by the judge that the prosecution could not meet the burden of proof will acquit the defendant.

    3. If the prosecution abandons the trial after a jury is empaneled.

    While acquittal bars retrial in the criminal court, a civil lawsuit can still be brought on the same facts and circumstances as that acquittal. Because the burden of proof in a civil trial is much lower than in criminal proceedings, a defendant may face civil liability but not criminal liability.

    A defendant can also not claim double jeopardy if an acquittal is brought by bribing or threatening a judge or juror involved in the case.

    NEXT: Bail

    Related Articles

    Link To This Page

    Comments

    POPULAR IN COURT

    Easiest Way To Understand Selective Incorporation
    COURT
    Easiest Way To Understand Selective Incorporation
    Basic Guide to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search
    COURT
    Basic Guide to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search
    Guide to Finding a Lawyer

    MORE IN COURT

    Bail Bail
    Tips