implied acquittal


: an acquittal of a more serious offense (as first-degree murder) that is considered to result from a verdict which convicts the defendant of a lesser included offense while remaining silent on the greater one

Note: A greater offense and a lesser included offense are the same offense under a double jeopardy analysis. Therefore, a conviction of a lesser included offense and implied acquittal of the greater offense bars retrial on the greater offense.

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Cite this Entry

“Implied acquittal.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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