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Definition of Acquit

To acquit someone means the court has decided the person is not guilty of the crime for which they have been accused and the court is "setting them free from the charge of the offense." In other words you have been found not guilty for the criminal indictment. An acquittal can be reached after both the prosecutor and defendant have presented their case at trial. An acquittal can be reached by a jury or a judge. Generally, if the defendant is acquitted by the jury the charges are not appealed. If a judge reaches an acquittal it may result in either a dismissal of the charges or a mistrial. Appeals can be made by the prosecution, however, if the jury convicts a defendant but the judge makes an acquittal.

If a person is acquitted for a crime they cannot be tried for the same crime a second time. A defendant?s acquittal will also stand if additional evidence is found at a later date. This law stands as a defense against unconstitutional government action.

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