If you’re involved in a legal case, whether you’ve filed charges or charges have been filed against you, you’ll likely hear the term “burden of proof”. Essentially, burden of proof is the requirement for winning a case. For example, if you are facing criminal charges, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you committed a crime.
A person is only convicted and charged if the burden of proof is satisfied. Until then, they are considered innocent, hence the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.”
Typically, the burden of proof is a responsibility for the plaintiff (the person or organization who filed the initial charges) or prosecution.
The level of proof required to satisfy a claim varies depending on the type of case and the accusations being made. The measurement for burden of proof is known as the “standard of proof”.
In less severe cases, the standard of proof may be set at “preponderance of evidence”. In this situation, it must be shown that it is more likely that a person is guilty than they are innocent. Even if there’s a 49% chance they’re innocent, the majority rules in this scenario.
On the other side of the spectrum, the burden of proof must go “beyond reasonable doubt”. This is typically used in more serious criminal cases. When the standard of proof is beyond reasonable doubt, it must be overwhelmingly obvious that the claims being made are true.
Burden of Proof Isn’t Exclusive to the Plaintiff
While burden of proof is generally a responsibility of the plaintiff or prosecution, it can also fall on the defendant in certain situations. Specifically, if they’re trying to make a specific defensive claim such as self-defense or insanity, they would have the burden of proving their claim.
With the complexities of burdens and standards of proof, it’s critical that you have proper legal aid by your side. An experienced attorney provides guidance and support, working with you to create a case that tells your side of the story.
For a trustworthy attorney in Springfield, Ohio, contact the offices of Michael T. Edwards today. Whether you have the burden of proof, or you need to disprove someone else’s claim, we are here for you.