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How Does Burden of Proof Affect My Case?

Posted on : February 13, 2020, By:  Tom Kokonowski, Esq.
Criminal-Lawyer-Hampden

Meeting The Burden Of Proof

 

In every state in America, prosecutors must be able to meet a certain burden of proof if they wish to convict someone of a crime for which they’ve been accused. For criminal cases, this standard is quite high considering the impact a conviction can have on a person’s life. Here’s what you should know about the burdens of proof and how they may have an impact on your case. 

Establishing Guilt After Preponderance of Evidence 

 

Establishing the guilt of a defendant after a preponderance of the evidence simply means that after reviewing the available evidence, a judge and/or jury decide that the likelihood of the person accused of the crime actually having committed it is higher than the likelihood they didn’t. 

Establishing Guilt with Clear and Convincing Evidence 

 

To establish that someone is guilty of a crime with clear and convincing evidence, prosecutors must do so in such a way that causes the judge and/or jury to believe, or have a strong conviction that, the crime occurred as the prosecution suggests. Furthermore, they must also believe or have a strong conviction that the individual responsible is the defendant prosecutors have brought forward. 

Establishing Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 

 

Typically, criminal proceedings use the highest standard of proof — determining guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When an individual stands trial for a crime, the judge and/or jury presiding over the case must enter the proceedings with the belief that the defendant is innocent of the crime they are accused of. 

 

The prosecution and defense take turns presenting evidence for or against guilt. After a full review of all available evidence from both sides, the judge and/or jury will determine if it was enough to convince them that the defendant is no longer innocent. 

Arrested for a Crime in Massachusetts? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Now 

 

If you were arrested for an alleged crime, your reputation and future are at risk. Prosecutors must meet a certain burden of proof to be able to convict you of the crime for which you are charged. If the prosecution is not able to prove that you committed the crime beyond all reasonable doubt, the charges against you should be dismissed. 

 

It’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to defend your case. Contact Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski today for a consultation to discuss your case at 413-737-9700.