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What Is Reasonable Doubt?

Almost everyone has heard the phrase “reasonable doubt” related to a criminal case before. While it may seem obvious what this concept entails, it is important for us all to know exactly what it means, since the concept of reasonable doubt underpins our entire legal system. Every criminal case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a conviction, and this is a right granted to you under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

This means that the judge or the jury has been presented with irrefutable evidence that the defendant is guilty. If the case leaves unanswered questions that leave the judge or jury with nagging questions about the case, they cannot convict. This means that a case requires a very high standard of proof before you can ever be convicted.

Establishing Reasonable Doubt

Because reasonable doubt requires such a high standard, you could simply sit silent throughout your entire trial, and unless the prosecution has an extremely compelling case with sufficient evidence, you could still walk free. In the United States, the prosecutor’s job is to prove a defendant is guilty; it’s not a your job as a defendant to prove your innocence. That said, a smart strategy in a criminal case is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience establishing reasonable doubt.

There are many ways to establish reasonable doubt in a criminal case. You can show that you have a valid alibi and therefore could not have committed the crime you were accused of. A case can be built around showing alternate theories about the crime. Similarly, experts can be brought in to question evidence against you or show that the prosecution’s explanation for the evidence is faulty. You can even establish that the action would be out of character for the defendant or that you had no motive to commit the crime in question. All of these strategies could open questions in the jurors’ minds that create doubt, allowing you to go free.

Establishing reasonable doubt is the cornerstone of any defense case. If you have been accused of a crime in Ohio, you do not deserve to be punished just because the police think you may have done something wrong. They must prove their case. If you have been arrested in Ohio, you deserve to be represented by an experienced Columbus defense attorney who can establish the reasonable doubt needed to set you free. Call us today at Luftman, Heck & Associates at today for a free consultation on your particular case.

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