Honest and
Dedicated Legal Advocacy

Honest and Dedicated Legal Advocacy

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Case
  4.  » What is the burden on the defense in a criminal case?

What is the burden on the defense in a criminal case?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2019 | Criminal Case

You probably understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty, which reins throughout the United States in every courtroom. If you face a criminal charge, the Pennsylvania court assumes you are innocent until the prosecutor proves you are guilty. The American Bar Association explains that this is the burden of proof because the prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt. However, that does not mean that your defense team is without any burden of proof.

When the judge or jury hears the evidence the prosecutor has against you, your team then has to present evidence to refute that. If you do not, the judge or jury relies solely on what the prosecution presents to render a verdict. As long as you do not show the prosecution is wrong, it is very difficult for those making a decision to decide against the prosecution.

For example, if you are facing a charge of murder, the prosecution will present a case that shows you had the means to commit the murder, a reason for doing so and the ability to do it. You will have to show where the prosecution’s assumptions are wrong, such as providing an alibi that shows you were nowhere near the murder scene at the time of the murder.

You need to create a narrative that is more believable than the prosecutions. This means coming up with your own evidence to show the prosecution is wrong. You have to introduce reasonable doubt because jurors need reasonable doubt to render a not guilty verdict. This information is for education and does not constitute legal advice.