Alford doctrine

noun

Al·​ford doctrine ˈal-fərd- How to pronounce Alford doctrine (audio)
law
: 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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1994, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Alford doctrine was in 1994

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Cite this Entry

“Alford doctrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Alford%20doctrine. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

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