Most people have heard the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" long before they are arrested for a crime. What you may not realize is that the phrase is actually a legal directive to the judge and jury, who must assume you're innocent until they are shown otherwise. In order to get a conviction, the prosecutor will have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. But what exactly does that mean?
It Is Your Attorney's Job to Challenge the Prosecutor's Claims
The American legal system places the burden of proof on the prosecution, not the defense. This means that the prosecutor must do the work of proving all of the evidence against you so conclusively that there can be no reasonable doubt that you were at fault.
Even if you committed a criminal act, there are several defenses that could result in a dismissal of the charges against you. Our criminal defense team can work to avoid conviction by:
- Refuting evidence. The prosecutor is required to prove each of the elements of the crime. However, you need only to successfully refute one element to create a reasonable doubt of your guilt. For example, if the officer who arrested you for DUI used a breathalyzer that was not properly calibrated, your BAC reading can be called into question.
- Challenging police procedures. Law enforcement officers are required to honor an individual's contitutional rights during a traffic stop, search, or arrest. If the police did not read you your rights, conducted an illegal search, or did not follow the restrictions in a warrant, the evidence collected may be inadmissible.
- Claiming self-defense. If you have been charged with assault or another violent crime, you may be able to claim self-defense. If you claim that your actions were intended to protect yourself from harm, the prosecution is responsible for showing that you were not a victim.
The right defense for your case will depend on the specific details of your situation, so it is vital that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If you have been accused of committing a crime, The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC is here to help protect your rights. Call (513) 929-9333 today to get the answers you need in your free case evaluation.