What is the Judgment of Acquittal in a Criminal Trial?
Hi, this is attorney Kevin Hayslett, and the question is: what is a judgment of acquittal? In the criminal trial process at the conclusion of the state’s case or after the conclusion of the defense’s case, the defense council can move for a judgment of acquittal. This is a legal motion by where they argue to the court or the judge that the light was favorable to the state after the first portion of the trial. The state has not proven their case, they have not provided a prima facie case. The court has the opportunity at that phase of the case, if the court feels that a prima facie case has not been proven, to enter a judgment of acquittal and dismiss the case. This is even before the jury would get it to considerate it during deliberation. The other time a judgment of acquittal can be asked or entered is at the conclusion of the defense’s case in which the defense council would ask the court after hearing the prosecution’s evidence in the prosecution’s case and all the defense’s evidence in the defense’s case, to enter a judgment of acquittal meaning that after hearing all the evidence that the court would make a legal finding that the case should be dismissed.
Kevin Hayslett, Esq.
J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.