Free Consultation! Call: (609) 261-3400 | Email: | Emergencies: Click Here

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: What It Really Means

Mount Holly Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a criminal defense lawyer in Mount Holly, Mark Catanzaro takes seriously his role of protecting the life, liberty, and justice of his many clients. The criminal justice system is required to presume the innocence of all defendants until they are proven guilty. That is why the burden of proof is so high for the prosecution. In criminal law, that burden is beyond a reasonable doubt.

A burden of proof is the duty that one side has to present sufficient evidence to prove their position in a case. In the United States, there are many different burdens of proof depending on the situation or case:

  • Reasonable suspicion
  • Probable cause
  • Substantial evidence
  • Preponderance of the evidence
  • Clear and convincing evidence
  • Beyond a reasonable doubt

Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest legal burden of proof there is and means that there can be no plausible reason to believe otherwise. It does not mean absolute certainty, but there cannot be any other logical conclusion based on the evidence presented. In order for the State to meet this high burden, they must prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) every element of the crime for which they are accusing the defendant. If the State cannot prove one or more elements, or if the Mount Holly criminal defense lawyer presents evidence that casts doubt in the jury members’ minds, then the State will lose its case against the defendant.

As part of the Mount Holly criminal defense lawyer’s defense strategy, an affirmative defense might be raised. This is when the defendant admits to the conduct, but presents evidence as to why his conduct was legally justified. When introducing an affirmative defense, the defendant has the burden of proof; however, the burden is the slightly lower preponderance of the evidence standard. This means that the defendant only has to prove that his version of the facts is more likely than not the truth. If he can meet that burden, the State must attempt to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Do You Need A Mount Holly Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Although the State has a high burden to meet, every defendant should have a skilled Mount Holly criminal defense lawyer in their corner to chip away at the State’s case. Mark Catanzaro has 30 years of experience doing just that. Contact his office today in order to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The sooner you call, the sooner your top-rated Mount Holly criminal defense lawyer can begin building a defense strategy that casts doubt on the prosecution’s evidence.


Leave a Comment

Request Free Case Evaluation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Office Locations

Mount Holly:

21 Grant St.
Mt. Holly, New Jersey


143 White Horse Avenue
Trenton, New Jersey