Understanding burden of proof

Those who have been charged with crimes in Fort Mitchell could be in for a harrowing experience if and when their cases go to trial. Their fears may be founded in the presumption that if one is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she most likely did what authorities are accusing him or her of. Most people have likely heard the term "innocent until proven guilty," yet few may understand what it truly means in a legal context. Its application is related to the concept of burden of proof

Burden of proof describes the responsibility one side in a dispute has of proving a point. For example, some may believe that all that a prosecuting attorney must do is make the jury hearing a criminal case believe that a defendant may have committed a crime based off evidential elements. Information shared by the Cornell Law School defines such scenarios as a "preponderance of evidence." In civil cases, one side need only meet this mark in order secure a favorable ruling. Criminal cases, however, are held to a higher standard. 

According to FindLaw, the burden of proof in a criminal case lies with the prosecution to prove a defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." That is not to say, however, that the burden cannot be shifted to the accused. He or she has to answer the questions raised by the evidence presented by the prosecution that implicates his or her. Yet that does not mean that he or she must prove his or her innocence, but rather simply raise doubt about the viability of the claims being made against him or her. Where that doubt realistically exists, burden of proof dictates that he or she should not be convicted. 

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