Last week we covered “plausible deniability.” This week we’re covering a related topic: reasonable doubt. What does this mean? How does New Jersey law define it? How does the court apply it? These are important questions if you’re going to understand your own trial and how an effective attorney might handle your case. So, if you’d like to know more about reasonable doubt and New Jersey law, keep reading!
Reasonable Doubt Defined
First, the principal behind “reasonable doubt” comes as guarantee to all U.S. citizens thanks to the Constitution. Our legal system holds to the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” The phrase “reasonable doubt” applies to that key word “guilty” – a person’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This relates to what the law calls “burden of proof.” When someone accuses another of a crime, the “burden of proof” is on the accuser to prove guilt rather than on the accused to prove innocence. Therefore, the one accusing the person has to prove that person did the crime rather than the person accused having to prove they didn’t do it. In court, a person cannot be convicted of a crime until their guilt is proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Thus, if a person becomes suspected of the crime, possibly committed the crime, or even highly likely committed the crime, that is still not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In other words, in order to convict a person, no doubt about their guilt can remain.
Application in Court
Second, how does this work in court? Sometimes it can be proven that someone is not guilty. For example, if they have an alibi and they can prove they weren’t in the area where the crime occurred. However, if they cannot prove innocence, then a competent defense attorney needs to shed doubt on the defendant’s guilt. A strong defense attorney holds the skills necessary to make the jury and/or the judge doubt the defendant’s guilt. For instance, they will highlight the defendant’s character, point out vaguery in the law, cross examine witnesses, or question the claims of the plaintiff. All of these can make people doubt whether or not someone stands guilty.
Mark Catanzaro: The Best Attorney Beyond a Reasonable Doubt!
Finally, as you can see, you need a wise lawyer in court to defend you. It takes great cleverness to use the details of the case to cast doubt on guilt. Well, look no further than Mark Catanzaro—he’s the man for the job! Contact his offices today.