Partial Verdict Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Partial Verdict?

It refers to the verdict given by the judge in the criminal court when the Jury or judge finds that the person concerned has been found guilty of some charges and innocent in other charges.

History and Meaning of Partial Verdict

A partial verdict is one in which the jury finds the defendant guilty on some, but not all, of the charges. In such cases, the judge may accept the verdict on the charges on which there is agreement and declare a mistrial on the remaining charges. The defendant may be retried on the charges on which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

A partial verdict has its roots in the common law system of jurisprudence, which traces its origins to medieval England. Under this system, juries were charged with determining the guilt or innocence of defendants in trials, and judges were responsible for imposing sentences.

Examples of Partial Verdict

  1. In a criminal trial for assault and battery, the jury finds the defendant guilty on the assault charge but not guilty on the battery charge. This would result in a partial verdict.
  2. A jury in a drug trafficking case finds the defendant guilty of possession with intent to distribute but is unable to reach a verdict on the charge of conspiracy to distribute. A partial verdict is delivered.
  3. A driver is charged with reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. The jury finds the driver guilty on the reckless driving charge but not guilty on the driving under the influence charge. The judge delivers a partial verdict.

Legal Terms Similar to Partial Verdict

  1. Mistrial - A trial that ends without a verdict due to a fundamental error or a hung jury.
  2. Acquittal - A verdict by a judge or jury that declares a defendant not guilty of the charges presented.
  3. Conviction - A verdict by a judge or jury that finds a defendant guilty on one or more charges.