In order to be convicted of a crime, prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors focus on finding any evidence that the defendant could have committed the crime, and will examine the defendant’s alibi or defense and look for any holes in his or her story.
Definition of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The standard of reasonable doubt can vary widely in terms of the percentage by which a judge or jury must be sure that the defendant committed the crime. Some may say it’s around 90 percent, while others may argue that it should be much higher. There is no absolute number, but the main point is that there must be a very high level of certainty that the defendant is guilty.
What Defendants Must Do
The goal for a defendant in Miami is to work with a criminal defense lawyer to demonstrate reasonable doubt of guilt. This means that the defendant must prove that he or she could not have possibly committed the crime, or at least that there is some uncertainty regarding whether he or she is guilty.
This is often done by presenting an alibi. An alibi attempts to prove that the defendant was unable to commit the crime because he or she was somewhere else or with somebody who could testify that the person was somewhere at a specific time. Receipts and videotape footage could also prove that the defendant was at a grocery store or a bank, for example, at the time the crime was committed.
The alibi does not have to be presented by the defendant if he or she does not wish to give up the right to remain silent. A witness can be called to the stand in Miami by a criminal defense lawyer to prove to the court that the defendant was not at the crime scene.
However, if a defendant wishes to give an alibi, he or she typically must let the court know ahead of time so that the prosecutor has time to review the alibi and ask any questions. A criminal defense lawyer can inform clients in Miami of the proper procedures in their criminal case.
What Prosecutors Must Do
In the court of law, a defendant does not have to prove he or she is innocent. In fact, the defendant does not have to say anything. Instead, it is up to the prosecutor to prove guilt or at least a very high probability of guilt. He or she has the burden of proof to examine the elements of the criminal case and undermine or discredit any information presented in the criminal case by the defendant in Miami and/or his or her criminal defense lawyer.
The judge and jury must be convinced that the evidence proves the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is even the slightest possibility that the defendant could be innocent, then he or she cannot be convicted of the crime.
Facing charges in Miami? Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Those involved in a Miami criminal case may hire a criminal defense attorney to represent their rights and build a defense against the charges. Falk & Ross Law Firm can represent individuals facing charges and help them with the case as prosecutors try to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.