Difference Between Not Guilty & Innocent

Not Guilty vs Innocent

Although the terms “not guilty” and “innocent” may seem synonymous, they actually carry different meanings. “Not guilty” is a type of verdict given at the end of a criminal trial, while “innocent” does not specifically refer to a finding of “not guilty.” Innocent has broader connotations and encompasses moral, philosophical, and religious aspects.

What does Innocent mean?

The dictionary defines innocent as the absence of guilt and acting in good faith without any knowledge of objections, defects, or illegal circumstances. Generally, when the term innocent is used, it refers to someone’s life, character, personality, or disposition, meaning that the person is not known for committing crimes or inflicting harm. From a legal perspective, however, the term may have different connotations that can blur the distinction between innocent and not guilty.

What does Not Guilty mean?

The term “not guilty” has two meanings: first, it refers to a defendant’s formal plea before a court denying the prosecution’s charges against them; second, it is the verdict or formal finding by the court in a criminal trial that the defendant is not responsible or legally blameless for the crime with which they are charged. A not guilty verdict does not necessarily imply that the defendant is innocent of the crime.

Key Takeaways

  • “Not guilty” is a verdict given by a judge and/or jury at the end of a criminal trial, while “innocent” refers to a person’s character and moral beliefs.
  • A person found “not guilty” may not necessarily be innocent of the crime, as it may only mean that the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Legally, the term “innocent” is used as a presumption, meaning that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles