Guilty As Charged
In order to be found guilty at trial, the prosecution must convince the judge (at a bench trial) or jury (at a jury trial) that beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime was committed and that the defendant committed them. A reasonable doubt is a fair and honest doubt based on the prosecution’s evidence or lack thereof. Remember, a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent. This means the judge or jury should be under the belief that the defendant is innocent throughout the trial. It is not until both the prosecution and defense rest their cases and deliberations begin that the defendant’s guilt should be considered.
For many crimes, the prosecution must prove intent and some action that is illegal. For example, to prove the crime of battery, the prosecution must show: (1) the defendant intended to violently or offensively touch/make physical contact with someone or something closely connected to someone, (2) the defendant actually touched someone in a violent or offensive manner, and (3) the physical contact was against the victim’s will.
Battery is the simplest example. Criminal law and the possible charges one can be faced with are vast and can often times be confusing and overwhelming. If you have questions about your charges or past conviction, please give us a call!