Burden Of Proof

by Richard Jones  - May 23, 2023

What Is The Burden Of Proof In A Criminal Case?

– JM, Texas


The burden of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There is no formal definition of beyond a reasonable. In general, there are levels of proof in trials. In a civil case the burden is preponderance of the evidence. This means anything amount over half.

The next level is “clear and convincing.” This is the burden in cases to terminate parental rights. This burden is higher because only money is at stake in civil cases. The decision to terminate parental rights is higher because of the value we place on our families.

The highest level is beyond a reasonable doubt because we are talking about someone going to jail or prison.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is something less than one hundred percent but high enough that there is no hesitation in reaching a decision. This does not mean the jury cannot spend time, but when they do reach a decision they must be sure of their decision.

This answer does not constitute legal advice, which can only be rendered after a full consideration of the facts of your case which is not possible in this format; nor establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be done after you and an attorney meet and agree on the terms of that relationship. This answer is intended solely to provide general information about the justice system. Further, it does not provide the basis for making decisions about a course of action. Before making any decisions about a course of action readers are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer and secure an attorney-client relationship. Readers must also understand that this format does not provide for confidential communication. Moreover, links to information on this site are for your convenience only and are not an endorsement or recommendation of those sites, and no responsibility is taken for any information at these linked sites, nor makes any representation or warranty with respect to these sites or the information contained therein.

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Richard Jones

Austin criminal defense attorney Richard Jones. This legal practice is dedicated to helping individuals like you—those caught in the crosshairs of criminal allegations and in dire need of dependable legal counsel. Richard also proficient in handling allegations related to theft crimes and is prepared to assist you during this stressful time.