Guilty Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Guilty, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Guilty?

(adj) Guilty is the person who was convicted for any criminal or illegitimate activities or admitted or otherwise found by the court as the person who has done any criminal or illegal activities.

History and Meaning of Guilty

The term "guilty" dates back to the 14th century and is derived from the Old French word "culpat," meaning "blame." It is a legal term used to describe a person who has committed a crime or offense and has been proven or admitted to have done so.

When a person is found guilty, they are held responsible for their actions and may face punishment or consequences for their wrongdoing. A conviction of guilt is based on evidence presented in a court of law, and the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.

Examples of Guilty

  1. The defendant was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
  2. After pleading guilty to embezzlement, the former executive was forced to pay back the stolen funds and serve two years in jail.
  3. The jury must determine if the defendant is guilty of the charges brought against them.
  4. The police officer was found guilty of using excessive force during an arrest.
  5. The company was found guilty of violating environmental laws and was ordered to pay a large fine.

Legal Terms Similar to Guilty

  • Conviction: A finding of guilt and conviction by a court of law.
  • Acquittal: When a person is found not guilty and is cleared of any charges brought against them.
  • Alleged: Used to describe someone who is accused of a crime but has not been proven guilty or innocent.
  • Indictment: A formal charge or accusation of a serious crime.
  • Criminal Liability: The legal responsibility for committing a crime and the punishment that follows.