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Utilizing The Burden Of Proof For Your Defense In A Criminal Case

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What do you do if you are accused of a crime? Most likely, there will be some freaking out, but once you get that out of your system, you will have to get down to the business of defending yourself. Just because you are accused of a crime does not mean that you will go to jail. Instead, you have the responsibility to—prove your innocence? No. In U.S. courts you are presumed innocent until the prosecution provides a preponderance of evidence to prove your guilt. This means that all you have to do to is disprove your guilt.

How Does the Prosecution Prove Guilt?

The prosecution must prove that a person had motive. means, and opportunity to commit a crime. Motive means you had a reason to commit the crime. For example, a poor person might want to steal and an angry person might want to kill. The idea here is that if you had no reason to commit the crime, you are not likely to move forward with criminal actions. In a criminal case, means refers to a person having the tools and equipment needed to commit the crime. For example, a safe cracker would need safe cracking tools to crack a safe. Opportunity refers to being in the right place at the right time to commit the crime. For example, a bank robber would need to actually be at the bank before he could be accused of the theft.

How Do You Prove Your Innocence?

Since the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you only have to disprove one of the three pillars of the prosecution's case. In other words, if the prosecution is able to show that a person had safe cracking tools and needed money, but the accused person can prove that he/she was in a completely different place when the safe cracking took place, then the jury would have no option but to come to a not-guilty verdict. 

Understanding the basic principles of criminal defense is not the same thing as having the ability to win a criminal case. Lawyers are trained in how to gather evidence, how to prepare witnesses for trial, how to build a case, how to approach a jury, how to use legal precedents, how to navigate the intricacies of courtroom etiquette, and other complexities of criminal law. While you should trust your defense to a lawyer, knowing how to approach your defense will help you to work with your lawyer to prepare your case. Click here to get in contact with a criminal defense lawyer.