# Why doesn't nitric acid have a positive charge?

From the diagrams I've seen $\ce{HNO3}$ has a dative covalent bond so why doesn't it have a positive charge?

• Do you mean an overall positive change or a positive charge on the nitrogen atom? – DavePhD Dec 14 '14 at 16:44
• Wouldn't a positive charge on the nitrogen cause an overall charge on the molecule? – user58953 Dec 14 '14 at 17:03
• Not necessarily, see the nitro group. – Dissenter Dec 14 '14 at 17:05

One side of the $\ce{HNO3}$ molecule does have a positive charge, but this is neutralized by the negative charge resulting from the Oxygen atom with only one bond to the nitrogen. These charges cancel leaving an overall neutral molecule.