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What Is A Burden Of Proof

When a prosecutor goes to court, they cannot simply accuse you of a crime. They must have significant evidence to show someone is guilty. This is often referred to as a “burden of proof.” The burden of proof is a legal standard that you have likely heard of already. It requires prosecutors to show that a person committed a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” before a jury can find that person guilty.

In a very simple statement: it is the state’s job to show you are guilty, not your job to prove you are innocent.

What Does Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Actually Mean?

Beyond a reasonable doubt means that the evidence of the crime must clearly and definitively point to the accused person before a guilty verdict. The “reasonable” element refers to what would lead a “reasonable person” to doubt. This doubt applies to every legal element of a crime.

You can think of a legal case like a puzzle. You do not need to have every piece of the puzzle in place to see the picture. But, to convict someone, you need to clearly be able to see the picture and most of its details. There can be no question about what the puzzle picture is.

Protect Your Rights

Our founding attorney, Matthew Lopez, is an extremely well-regarded defender of those facing criminal charges. He will defend your rights. As your attorney, he will review the evidence and make sure the prosecutors are responsible for meeting their burden. Call our office today for a consultation: 928-714-7032 or use the online form.