Noun 1. a judgment of not guilty (antonym) conviction, judgment of conviction, condemnation, sentence (hypernym) final judgment, final decision (derivation) acquit, assoil, clear, discharge, exonerate, exculpate (classification) law, jurisprudence
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offence, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is abandoned nolle prosequi. The finality of an acquittal is dependent on the jurisdiction. In some countries, such as the United States, under the rules of double jeopardy and autrefois acquit, an acquittal operates to bar the retrial of the accused for the same offense, even if new evidence surfaces that further implicates the accused. The effect of an acquittal on criminal proceedings is the same whether it results from a jury verdict, or whether it results from the operation of some other rule that discharges the accused. In other countries, the prosecuting authority may appeal an acquittal similar to how a defendant may appeal a conviction.
The action taken by a jury when, upon trial, they find that the accused is not guilty and enter a verdict accordingly. Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.