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What do I have to prove as a criminal defendant?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | August 31, 2018

If you've been arrested or accused of a crime -- no matter what the circumstances -- you have the legal right to defend yourself in court. You also have the legal right to an attorney who will represent you and assist you in defending yourself. During your defense, however, you are not required to prove anything.

The so-called "burden of proof" lies entirely with the prosecution in your case. Furthermore, this burden of proof will be high, and no conviction will occur until -- and only if -- the prosecution can prove your guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." Until this occurs, the court will presume you are innocent.

As a matter of law, you don't even have to speak or respond to the accusations being brought against you. Even without speaking to defend yourself, a court could issue a verdict of "not guilty." Nevertheless, it is probably advisable to organize a legally appropriate criminal defense strategy in response to the prosecution's claims in order to reduce the chances and/or severity of conviction and punishment in your case.

Rather than proving something, a criminal defendant's job is to cast doubt on the prosecution's version of the facts. This could involve the identification of factual errors, untrustworthy witnesses and other problems with the prosecution's case. It could also involve the presentation of evidence that contradicts or renders impossible the prosecution's case.

Are you facing criminal charges in a Colorado Springs court? Learn more about your criminal defense options and the various ways you might be able to defend yourself against the allegations now.

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