Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A plea entered by a defendant in a criminal case. Often erroneously confused with a claim of innocence, technically a plea of not guilty simply compels the prosecution to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. When the jury (or a judge sitting without a jury) acquits a defendant after trial, they return a verdict of "not guilty," which indicates their conclusion that the prosecution did not meet its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. (See also: reasonable doubt
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:20 pm