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Last Modified: November 10, 2021


To say that a person is guilty is to say that they are “responsible for a delinquency or a criminal or civil offense.”  In legal terms, a plea of guilty according to 77-13-2(2) “is an acknowledgment that the accused is guilty of the offense charged” and is willing to face the consequences of their actions.  In short, the guilty party is, inside and outside of the field of law, culpable for an act committed.

Example Sentence

All of the defendant’s eloquent protestations of innocence could neither obscure nor obliterate the fact that they were guilty of keeping attractive nuisances on their front lawn.

Case Study

In the final scene of Visiting Ours, an episode from Season I of Arrested Development, the protagonist’s son, George-Michael, is shaken following a visit with his grandfather in prison (a visit that is marred by softball game gone horribly wrong).  His father sees that something is bothering him and makes an inquiry into his state of mind.  George-Michael replies that “[Y]ou think of prison as this place full of guilty people and it doesn’t bother you that much, but if Pop-Pop could be there, then anybody could be there.”  Michael allays his son’s anxieties about a justice system that seems to subject innocent people to violent sporting events with the revelation that “Pop-Pop” is, in fact, guilty.  “He is?” asks the stunned George-Michael.  “Yeah, he is,” murmurs his father all-too-knowingly.  “Incredibly guilty.”  (Although the series sees a few far-fetched plea bargains result in dropped charges, Michael never denies that his father is guilty in spite of what the official charges may be.)

Other Important Information

According to 77-13-6(2), a plea of guilt made unwittingly or involuntarily may be withdrawn prior to the sentencing, within 30 days in cases of pleas in abeyance, or in keeping with the Post-Conviction Remedies Act.