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Reasonable Doubt

In a criminal trial, it is the job of the prosecutor to prove that the defendant is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." This means that the evidence must be sufficient enough that a reasonable person would not be able to fathom a situation in which the defendant would be innocent.

Of course, there can still be some doubt, but only to the point where it would not affect a "reasonable person's" opinion of the case. Most judges ask the jurors that they be "fully satisfied" or "entirely convinced" of the defendant's guilt before proceeding with the verdict. These instructions are given to each juror before he or she hears the facts of the case, so they understand the situation before evaluating the evidence.

The old standard of "innocent until proven guilty" is evident in the American legal system's "burden of proof" requirement. The burden of proof always lies with the person who lays the charges on the defendant. Even though the burden is on the prosecution, it is still helpful to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on the side of the defendant to help present the facts of the case in a different light and perhaps put doubt in the jurors' minds.

Contact Us

Reasonable doubt most often occurs when jurors are presented with factual errors, or lack of clear and convincing evidence. It often takes an experienced defense lawyer to help the jury see these inaccuracies. If you have been accused of a criminal offense and would like legal representation with your case, contact Ian Inglis, Austin criminal lawyer, at (512) 472-1950.


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