Most people, whether they have faced criminal charges at some point in time or not, have heard that you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt when facing trial. This means that a prosecutor must prove someone guilty beyond any doubt. As a Portland criminal lawyer, it is imperative I can help my clients understand what this may mean for them and their case.
Proving someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt means that within a criminal trial, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution to show the defendant is guilty.
Although reasonable doubt definitions may vary slightly, usually if a juror believes with moral certainty that someone is guilty of a crime, even if a small amount of doubt is present, he or she may vote to convict.
In the United States criminal justice system, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. Therefore the burden lies with the prosecutor and his or her team to build a solid case against the defendant.
Within a criminal trial, there is a lot at stake, the most important is the defendant’s freedom. Because of this, the prosecutor must prove each aspect of a crime or the defendant has not been given due process, which is a right.
If you are facing any type of criminal prosecution, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Portland criminal lawyer who will be able to fight on your behalf. Call for your free, initial consultation.