Acquittal

Definition

At the end of a criminal trial, a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty. An acquittal signifies that a prosecutor failed to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt, not that a defendant is innocent. Thus, a person may be acquitted of a crime but found civilly liable in a civil case regarding that same crime, e.g. O.J. Simpson, because civil cases have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases.

See also