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Legal Dictionary

autrefois acquit

Legal Definition of autrefois acquit

Phrase

  1. French word now part of English criminal law terminology. Refers to an accused who cannot be tried for a crime because the record shows he has already been subjected to trial for the same conduct and was acquitted. If the accused maintains that the previous trial resulted in conviction, he or she pleads "autrefois convict." "Autrefois attaint" is another similar term; "attainted" for a felony, a person cannot be tried again for the same offence.

Definition of autrefois acquit

Further reading

A plea of autrefois acquit (Law French for "previously acquitted") means the defendant claims to have been previously acquitted of the same offence, on substantially the same evidence, and that hence he or she cannot be tried again. A plea of autrefois acquit can be combined with a plea of not guilty.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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