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Criminal conviction

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Criminal conviction occurs when a criminal is found guilty under criminal law and sentenced for their crimes.

The opposite of a conviction is an acquittal (i.e. "not guilty"). In Scotland and in the Netherlands, there can also be a verdict of "not proven", which counts as an acquittal. There are also cases where the court orders that a defendant not be convicted, despite being found guilty.

For a host of reasons, the criminal justice system is not perfect, and sometimes guilty defendants are acquitted, while innocent people are convicted. Appeal mechanisms mitigate this problem to some extent. An error which results in the conviction of an innocent person is known as a miscarriage of justice.

After a defendant is convicted, the court determines the appropriate sentence as a punishment. Furthermore, the conviction may lead to results beyond the terms of the sentence itself. Such ramifications are known as the collateral consequences of criminal charges.

A minor conviction is considered, in a term, a warning conviction, and it doesn't affect the defendant, but does serve as a warning.

A history of convictions forms a criminal record and are called antecedents, known colloquially as "previous" in the United Kingdom, and "priors" in the United States and Australia.


Conviction rates by Country Edit

Country Conviction Rate Date Notes
United States 80% 2006
Russia 99% 2007
Britain 74% 2006
Japan 99%

see alsoEdit


References Edit

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