Concept

Guilt (law)

Summary
In criminal law, guilt is the state of being responsible for the commission of an offense. Legal guilt is entirely externally defined by the state, or more generally a "court of law". Being factually guilty of a criminal offense means that one has committed a violation of criminal law, or performed all the elements of the offense set out by a criminal statute. The determination that one has committed that violation is made by an external body (a "court of law") after the determination of the facts by a finder of fact or “factfinder” (i.e. a jury) and is, therefore, as definitive as the record-keeping of the body. For instance, in the case of a bench trial a judge acts as both the court of law and the factfinder, whereas in a jury trial the jury is the trier of fact and the judge acts only as the trier of law. Factual Guilt vs. Legal Guilt In the United States, there exists factual guilt and legal guilt. Factual guilt relates to a person having factually committed a crime.
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