In the American justice system, cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. No one can ever be 100% sure of a past occurrence, but if reasonable people believe in your guilt, you will likely be found guilty. It may seem obvious, but the belief is the core of our legal system. By setting reasonable doubt as a standard for guilt, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution rather than upon the defense.
If you have been accused of a crime, Hirsch & Hirsch LLP will tell you not to do or say anything that may incriminate you. Under the Fifth Amendment, defendants have the right to not be forced to incriminate them, and are innocent until proven guilty.
A Definition of Reasonable Doubt
The primary issue with the reasonable doubt standard is in that the definition is vague. “Reasonable person” is an axiom that doesn’t have a legal definition, and there is a long-running argument on whether the definition should be refined, or whether the essence of the meaning is in the definition’s vague nature.
Creating Reasonable Doubt with an Alibi
One of the main ways a defendant can prove that they did not commit a crime is to demonstrate that it would have been physically impossible for them to do so. Alibis are proof that the defendant was somewhere else, with another parson, and therefore could not have committed the criminal act. By proving that you were not at the crime scene, you are creating reasonable doubt.
Proving Reasonable Doubt in a Civil Case vs. in a Criminal Case
Reasonable doubt is the base of a criminal judgment, but in a civil case, judgment is based upon a preponderance of the evidence. The latter is regarded as a fairer standard, and focuses on which side has a better argument. However, criminal trials work to the defendant’s benefit, in that even if your argument isn’t very solid, the prosecution still has to prove you guilty. To maximize your chance of creating reasonable doubt, hire a Criminal Attorney Suffolk County as soon as you find out that you’re facing charges. Visit Hirschandhirsch.com for more information.