Hodge could have accepted a reprimand and 93.75 carryover points, but he rolled the dice and was vindicated.
He is just the second player to successfully challenge at the Tribunal this season alongside West Coast captain Darren Glass, with Scott Thompson (Adelaide), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), James Kelly (Geelong) and Jonathan Brown (Brisbane Lions) all failing.
Hodge was charged by the Match Review Panel on Monday over a contact made to opponent Lachie Henderson in the Hawks' win over Carlton last Friday night.
The 29-year-old argued he never intended to bump Henderson, and contact was made because he jumped to get out of teammate Jarryd Roughead's path.
The jury of Wayne Henwood, David Pittman and Emmett Dunne took just two minutes to find him not guilty.
Hodge said the result was recognition from the Tribunal that unpredictable things can happen on the football field.
"We know my intent was not to bump, my intent was to get out of the road of 'Roughy' and there was a collision," he said.
"We were very, very confident that it wasn't a bump. That was our defence and I'm grateful that they (the jury) saw it the same way.
"With how fast the game is these days there is going to be contact at times, and as it turns out in [this case] there was and it was accidental.
"It is a contact sport and people do collide."
The incident was assessed by the Match Review Panel as negligent, low impact and high contact, drawing 125 demerit points and a one-match sanction.
Hodge would have been free to face West Coast with an early guilty plea, but the club was not prepared to have 93.75 carryover points hanging over the skipper through the second half of the season.
Hodge told the Tribunal he had no other option but to make contact with Henderson after Roughead moved into his path during a stoppage.
He said he knew at the last moment contact would be made with an opposition player, and he braced himself for a collision.
The skipper strongly disagreed with the suggestion from AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson SC that he had moved to shepherd Henderson.
A medical report from Carlton was used as evidence showing Henderson was cleared to play on after contact was made and he would require no ongoing treatment.
Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nathan