Facing a criminal charge for the first time is something that can leave you with uncertainty, questions, and fear, and you will need to hire a lawyer to assist you with the charge you face. One of the things your lawyer will help you understand in your case is the phrase "proof beyond a reasonable doubt." This phrase is highly important to understand as you face a criminal charge, and here are several things you should understand about it.
Defendants Are Considered Innocent
When it comes to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the first thing to understand is that defendants are considered innocent in court until they are proven guilty. In other words, even though you are being charged with a certain crime, you are still considered innocent. It is the prosecutor's job to prove that you are guilty, and he or she must prove this to a point where there is no doubt. This is why the phrase says that there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the burden of the court to prove your guilt, but until then, the court must view you as innocent. This is your legal right, and this is important to understand.
This Phrase Is a Legal Standard
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a legal standard, and that is the second thing you should understand. When the court receives a case, it is up to the prosecutor to determine whether or not to pursue it, and the prosecutor will usually make this decision based on evidence. Prosecutors fully understand that they have the important responsibility of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and this is why they will decide not to pursue a case when there is absolutely no evidence that proves that the person is guilty.
Your Lawyer's Main Job Is to Place Doubt in the Minds of the Jurors
The other thing to understand is the key principle and job your lawyer has, which is to place doubt in the minds of every juror who is on the panel hearing your case. If your lawyer can make the jurors question whether or not you committed the crime, they cannot legally come back with a guilty verdict for your case.
If there is a lot of evidence that creates doubt that you committed the crime, the court cannot legally convict you of the crime you are being charged with. For more information or for assistance with your case, contact a criminal defense attorney today.