Defending Against Criminal Charge

criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority (usually a public prosecutor or the police) asserting that somebody has committed a crime. A charging document, which contains one or more criminal charges or counts, can take several forms, including:
  • complaint
       – the first formal action taken to officially start a lawsuit.
  • information
      – the formal criminal charge that begins the criminal proceedings at the court.
  • indictment
      – this is the criminal accusation that a person has committed a crime.
  • citation/ claim
      – this includes summons, traffic violation ticket, or notice to appear.
  • traffic ticket
     – a notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, indicating that the user has violated traffic laws.

The charging document is what generally starts a criminal case in court. But the procedure by which somebody is charged with a crime and what happens when somebody has been charged varies from country to country and even, within a country, from state to state.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
Before a person is proven guilty, the charge \”must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt\”. This means that there must be a proof that the person did something against the law or had guilty state of mind when the law was broke.

Atleast some Judges of the Supreme Court has favoured the following instruction which is based on suggestions from the United States Judicial Center:
  • The government has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Some of you may have served as jurors in civil cases, where you were told that it is only necessary to prove that a fact is more likely true than not true. In criminal cases, the government\’s proof must be more powerful than that. It must be beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced of the defendant\’s guilt. There are very few things in this world that we know with absolute certainty, and in criminal cases the law does not require proof that overcomes every possible doubt. If, based on your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged, you must find him guilty. If on the other hand, you think there is a real possibility that he is not guilty, you must give him the benefit of the doubt and find him not guilty.“
While other federal courts have required the following shorter instruction:
‘It is not required that the government prove guilt beyond all possible doubt. The test is one of reasonable doubt. A reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense—the kind of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt must, therefore, be proof of such a convincing character that a reasonable person would not hesitate to rely and act upon it in the most important of his own affairs. The jury will remember that a defendant is never to be convicted on mere suspicion or conjecture.’
Legal terms alone can be confusing and intimidating, right? 
Whatever the case, if faced with legal issues like this, it should be handled with a high quality of representation. More importantly, when charged with a crime, one should seek counsel from highly reputable, experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney that have the highest level of expertise to build a case and protect your rights.

Getting the best defense attorney that is proactive and can anticipate how opposing counsel may approach negotiations and trial can bring a promise to take away stress, anxiety and sleepless nights that you are having.

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