Cambridge online dictionary defines the word as "the fact of officially being found to be guilty of a specific crime, or the act of officially finding someone guilty". Oxford online dictionary also defines it on an equivalent line: a proper declaration by the decision of a jury or the choice of a judge during a court of law that somebody is guilty of a criminal offence. For a student of law, the conviction is "the outcome of a prosecution which concludes during a judgment that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged." This is often the juncture of a criminal proceeding during which the question of guilt is ascertained. The term conviction, in law, refers to the ultimate judgment on a verdict of guilty. This means if a court of law finds an individual guilty of committing a criminal offence, it's called the conviction of the accused individual. A convicted person is awarded punishment for the crime as per the legal code. In law, a conviction is the verdict that sometimes results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a criminal offence. Another type of conviction is acquittal (that is, "not guilty"). In Scotland and within the Netherlands, there also can be a verdict of "not proven", which counts as an acquittal. There also are cases during which the court orders that a defendant not be convicted, despite being found guilty; in England, Wales, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand the mechanism for this is often a discharge. For several reasons, the criminal justice system isn't perfect: sometimes guilty defendants are acquitted, while innocent people are convicted. Appeal mechanisms and post-conviction relief procedures may mitigate the consequences of a conviction to some extent. A mistake which ends up within the conviction of an innocent person is understood as a miscarriage of justice.


After a defendant is convicted, the court determines the acceptable sentence as a punishment. Furthermore, the conviction may cause results beyond the terms of the sentence itself. Such ramifications are referred to as the collateral consequences of criminal charges. A minor conviction may be a warning conviction, and it doesn't affect the defendant but does function a warning.[citation needed] A history of convictions are called antecedents, known colloquially as "previous" within the UK, and "priors" within us and Australia. The history of convictions also shows that a minor law conviction is often prosecuted as an individual's punishment.