Innocent Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Innocent.

Innocent (adjective):

  1. Not guilty of a crime or offense: a person who is found innocent in a court of law has not committed the crime they were charged with.
  2. Without knowledge of wrongdoing: someone acting in good faith and without awareness that their actions are wrong or illegal.

In common legal use, defendants in a court case often plead innocent or 'not guilty', claiming they did not commit the alleged crime. They do this to protect themselves while they gather evidence or argument to support their claim.