What Does “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” Mean?

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When someone is accused of a crime and they go to trial, there is a presumption of innocence. That means that it is the prosecution’s job to build a case against the defendant and show that there is a high chance that they committed the crimes that they are accused of. The jury is instructed to only find the defendant guilty if the prosecutor proves their argument “beyond a reasonable doubt,” meaning that any reasonable person would not have significant doubts that the defendant was guilty. If you are facing criminal charges, you need to create reasonable doubt and show that the state’s case against you is not as ironclad as it seems. A Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer from our firm can help you.

Why Does the Court Use Reasonable Doubt?

Our legal system focuses on reasonable doubt over absolute doubt for a reason. There is a presumption of innocence when someone is charged with a crime, but it is also extremely difficult to prove that someone happened beyond all absolute doubt.

Proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt is still a high burden for the prosecution, but it is not an impossible bar to clear. Even when it is not absolutely obvious what happened, it is possible to gather evidence and build a case against someone who has been accused of a crime. It is also possible to poke holes in that case and show that, while the prosecution has told a good story, it is not the correct one.

How Can a Defendant Create Reasonable Doubt?

There are many ways for you to create reasonable doubt. If you can show that something the prosecutor has said or shown can be contradicted in some way, the jury has to consider that. Even if they cannot be convinced of your innocence, they also cannot say for sure if you are guilty. That is all that is needed for an acquittal.

In order to create reasonable doubt, your lawyer could:

  • Introduce evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s evidence
  • Question the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence or witnesses
  • Propose alternative theories of how the crime occurred
  • Introduce other potential suspects

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Defending yourself in a criminal case is incredibly difficult. An experienced criminal defense attorney from our firm has experience creating doubt and showing that a prosecutor’s case is actually less impressive than it looks at first glance. We can also help you get evidence thrown out if your civil rights were violated, and we can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal if that ends up being the best option.

Contact Our Law Firm

So if you are ready to learn more about what our attorneys can do for you, contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about your legal options.

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