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innocent

adj. without guilt (not guilty). Usually the plea which an accused criminal defendant gives to the court at the time of his/her first appearance (or after a continued appearance). Such pleas often disturb the public in cases in which guilt seems obvious from the start. However, everyone is entitled to a fair trial, and the innocent plea gives defense lawyers an opportunity to investigate, find extenuating circumstances, develop reasons punishment should be lenient, bargain with the District Attorney, and let the memories of witnesses fade.

See also: plea  plea bargain  arraignment 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications