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What is an acquittal?

Acquittal means a person that has been accused of a crime has been freed of the charges that were brought against them. According to double jeopardy laws, acquittals effectively bar the person that is been accused from being retried for the same offense. This is true even if evidence previously unnoted is brought forward that may point to the accused. An acquittal has the same effects no matter if it resulted from a verdict by jury or by an operation of another rule under which the accused has been discharged.

Can an acquittal help if there has been a false arrest?

An acquittal is considered to be very important if a person wants to sue the police for a wrongful arrest. If they feel they have been a victim of wrongful arrest they must let their criminal lawyer know they are not interested in any type of plea, because they must have a dismissal or an acquittal. If the person is able to get acquitted then they must realize that suing the police is going to be difficult and it may be hard to find a lawyer to take on this case. Since the police are protected from having a suit filed against them or being prosecuted while they are acting in the line of duty, as long as it is free of misconduct and negligence. Also there is a window of time that the suit may be brought and they do not want to miss any deadlines, so the suit should be brought quickly. Even if a person decides not to sue they are able to file a complaint with the officer’s superior, they may also file a complaint with their states Attorney’s General’s Office, and another with Internal Affairs, so that the officer would be at the least investigated.

In Virginia, can a person that was acquitted have their record expunged?

Only those accused that have been acquitted or have had their case dismissed are able to have the case expunged from the record. Those who are convicted would have to receive an absolute pardon from the Governor of Virginia before they would even be able to apply to have the charge expunged from their record.

If a person is acquitted of a crime in a criminal suit can they be sued in a civil case for the same crime?

A person that been acquitted in a criminal trial can be sued in civil court. The burden of proof for a criminal trial is higher than that of a civil suit, so it is possible for a person to be acquitted in the criminal trial and lose the civil suit. This applies to all states. 

If a person is acquitted of the charges against them, they may still need to petition the court to expunge the charges from their record. An acquittal means that the person who has been charged is free of those charges. An acquittal in criminal court does not mean that an acquittal is going to be given in a civil court for the same crimes. If a person needs to know anything about acquittals they are always able to ask an Expert.



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