You’ve almost certainly heard the phrase “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” but have you ever given thought to what that actually means? As an American, you should because this phrase is a corner stone of our national justice system. Rather than some countries that consider you guilty until you are proven innocent, the American legal system allows criminal suspects the privilege of being innocent until proven guilty and that guilt needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This means your Vista criminal defense attorney must only show the jury that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to undoubtedly prove your guilt.
The concept of reasonable doubt is one of the most powerful weapons on the side of all Vista defense lawyers because it means that the simple fact that charges have been filed against someone does not serve as evidence against them.
So what is a reasonable doubt? Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves jury members with an abiding conviction that the charge against the defendant is true no matter what evidence was presented on their behalf by their Vista criminal defense lawyers. Although some people believe that the standard of reasonable doubt means there cannot be a question in the mind of the members of the jury, that is not true. After all, few things in this world are totally black and white and many people who serve in a jury will question their ultimate decision at some point or another, no mater how convincing the evidence that led them to make their decision. The evidence need not eliminate all possible doubt because everything is life is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. However, if they based their decision on the standard of a reasonable doubt, then they will not have found the defendant guilty unless they were utterly convinced, meaning they will not have to look back on their decision and regret sending an innocent person to prison.
Even if the prosecution proves the defendant to be mostly guilty, but their Vista criminal defense attorneys have left a good seed of doubt in the juror’s minds, the defendant should still be found innocent because the evidence is not enough to quell all reasonable questions of the jurors.
If you have any question about the true meaning of reasonable doubt and how it could play into any charges you are facing, please call Vista defense lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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