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Faith, Ledyard & Faith, PLC dba Faith Law
Faith, Ledyard & Faith, PLC dba Faith Law

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What is the presumption of innocence?

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “There’s no smoke without fire.” This is often used when someone has been charged with a criminal offense.

Assumptions like these are dangerous in criminal cases, and many people have been wrongfully convicted on this basis. All defendants in criminal trial have a right to the presumption of innocence. What exactly does this mean?

Who has the burden of proof?

The burden of proof is a pivotal aspect in criminal cases, and this burden is much different than in civil courts. Civil cases work on the principle of the balance of probabilities. This means that the court will side with the party who presents a case that is more likely than not to be the truth.

However, in criminal proceedings, the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. Essentially, this means that the only feasible scenario could have been the case that the prosecution presented. A defendant doesn’t need to prove anything or even take the witness stand if their case goes to trial. If there is reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case, then a conviction is unsustainable.

Why does it matter?

Fairness is a fundamental aspect of the U.S. justice system, and fair trials cannot happen without the presumption of innocence. Without this, many people would be convicted without compelling evidence that they committed the crime in question.

The presumption of innocence is just one of many rights that you have in the U.S. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s crucial that you take the situation seriously. Make sure that you have experienced legal guidance to protect your rights and present your case.


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