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The Devil is in the Details

  • Beyond a Reasonable Doubt does not mean Beyond All Doubt

 

  • Where there is no jury the Judge will weigh the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution

  • The benefit of the doubt will always be ruled in favor to the prosecution

  • There is a difference between doubt and speculation. Speculation is not permitted, doubt is

  • If a device has not been properly tested there may be doubt as to the accuracy of its reading but it would be speculation to accept its readings as true

  • The generic standard of proof in all cases is Sufficient Evidence for a Conviction

 

 

 

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STANDARD OF PROOF - The amount of evidence which a plaintiff (or prosecuting attorney, in a criminal case) must present in a trial in order to win is called the standard of proof. Different cases require different standards of proof depending on what is at stake. The common standards are: (relates to speeding tickets as well)

 

  • Beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal cases)--for a criminal defendant to be convicted of a crime, the prosecutor must prove his or her case to the point that the jurors or Judge have no reasonable doubts in their minds that the defendant did whatever he is charged with having done.

  • Clear and convincing evidence (civil cases involving the potential loss of important interests such as the termination of parental rights)--for a party to prove a case under this standard, she must show something more than it is more likely than not, but not as much as beyond a reasonable doubt. No legal scholar has ever been able to define clear and convincing evidence more precisely than that.

  • Preponderance of the evidence (most civil cases including fault divorces)--preponderance of the evidence generally means that a party will win if she can show that it is more likely than not that her contention is true.

 

Example: Suppose that you are charged with spitting on the sidewalk:

 

  • If the evidence is that you were caught standing next to what appeared to be spit. That is below the preponderance of the evidence.

  • If in the above the officer (who didn't see you spit) heard you making a spitting sound and found you standing to what appeared to be spit, then under the preponderance of the evidence you can be found guilty.

  • If the officer in the case above heard you make the spitting sound and the material that looked like spit is tested and found to be spit, then that would be clear and convincing evidence.

  • If the officer in the case above heard you make the spitting sound and the material that looked like spit is tested and found to be spit and a further test shows it to be your spit then that would be beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Prosecutors like Preponderance of the evidence They have been known to ask for it as the standard to be used at the beginning of a speeding trial. If you don't know any different and don't object then that is what the standard will be. Under that standard you have a lower chance of winning.

 

The correct standard as handed down by the Supreme Court is beyond reasonable doubt where the speeding charge is a criminal charge. where the States have decriminalized speeding tickets, made it an Infraction, the standard may be as low as preponderance of evidence.

 

If you can make the evidence inadmissible then the degree of proof necessary for a conviction is immaterial. There is no evidence to ponder upon, no reasonable doubt to consider. There simply is no evidence, the trial stops and you go home a free person.

 

 

OK, now tell me, What is Case Law?  CASE LAW

 

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