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Burdens Of Proof In Criminal Cases

| Jun 23, 2017 | Uncategorized


In a criminal law case, the prosecution has the burden of proving every element of crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is not required to prove innocence to avoid the conviction. The prosecution also does not have to prove guilt to the point of absolute certainty. It is not always the case that the prosecution has to bear all proof, sometimes the burden is shifted to the defendant. 

If the prosecution establishes a fact that proves an element of the crime, then the burden will be switched to the person being accused of the crime. The defendant does not have to disprove this fact, but can raise doubt about it. They just need to create enough doubt about crucial information related to the case. If the prosecution provides multiple convincing facts, then it’s going to be more difficult for the defendant to raise doubt.
An example of this stated by NOLO would be, if the prosecution shows when searching for the defendant, the police found a watch that store records reflect as stolen. If this is a case of burglary, the defendant would have to try to explain how he legally obtained the watch.
This individuals receipt or testimony is important.
The prosecution is also trying to prove that the defendant had a very particular intent behind their accused action. Prosecution will have to prove that the defendant had committed the crime in question, and that they did it for a specific reason. A general intent crime for example is assault and battery. An individual hit someone in order to try to rob them.
An individual in a situation where they are getting accused of crime can claim that their actions were justified due to specific reasoning that otherwise would not be accepted. These are affirmative defenses. One of the more well-know affirmative defenses is considered self-defense. The defendant must acknowledge that they did commit this act. They must proclaim that their actions were necessary in order to defend themselves. An example of this would be fighting off a mugger.
According to NOLO, ” Some states may require defendants to prove self-defense by a “preponderance of the evidence,” while others require them to simply raise a plausible basis for it, and the prosecution to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. ” Other affirmative defenses include duress, entrapment, insanity, and necessity.
If you are involved in a criminal law case and need assistance of an expert, don’t hesitate to call Palacios Law Group. We are always here to help.
Source: Click here–> NOLO 


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