Alford doctrine

noun Al·ford doctrine \ˈal-fərd-\

Definition of Alford doctrine


  1. :  a legal doctrine under which a criminal defendant who does not admit guilt is allowed to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain provided the plea is made voluntarily and with knowledge of the consequences The Alford doctrine provides that a court may accept a knowing and voluntary plea of guilty from a defendant, even though the defendant maintains his innocence, provided the trial judge determines that there is a factual basis for the plea. — Crofoot v. United States, 761 F. 2d 661 (Fed. Cir. 1985) — see also alford plea

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Origin and Etymology of alford doctrine

after North Carolina vs. Alford, U.S. Supreme Court case (1970) that resulted in the doctrine

First Known Use: 1994

Seen and Heard

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a brief usually trivial fact

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