The Requirement of Proof in a New Jersey Criminal Case
New Jersey Law Demands to Prove All Elements of a Crime “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” For a Guilty Verdict
In New Jersey criminal court cases, the concept of burden of proof is crucial for ensuring that the defendant receives a fair trial and justice is served. The burden of proof is essentially the underlying legal standard behind the well-known concept that someone is innocent until proven guilty. The laws establishing the burden of proof state that it is the prosecution’s legal duty to prove every element constituting a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If a jury cannot with moral certainty affirm that a defendant is guilty of every single element of the crime for which they have been charged, the defendant will be found innocent. If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you need the experienced support of a criminal defense lawyer to help you refute the charges and develop a strong defense. The legal reality of the burden of proof can be used to strengthen your case, as the presumption of innocence leans in the defense’s favor. Contact our team at The Bronzino Law Firm to learn more about how we will show up for you.
When Is the Burden of Proof Applicable in NJ Criminal Courts?
The prosecution’s legal burden of proof applies to criminal cases in New Jersey. The purpose of the burden of proof concept is to ensure that every defendant who is accused of a crime is only proven guilty if there is substantial evidence to refute their innocence. It protects the innocence of citizens by presuming in accordance with the law and requiring ample evidence to the contrary.
Main Legal Sources That Determine the Standard of Proof
The burden of proof for New Jersey crimes is laid out in the U.S. Constitution, reiterated in the New Jersey State Constitution, and explained in N.J.S.A. 2C:1-13. The fifth amendment of the United States Constitution states that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Significance of the “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” Standard in Criminal Cases in New Jersey
N.J.S.A. 2C:1-13 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice notes that no one can be convicted of a criminal offense unless every element that defines that defense is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt ensures that the prosecution must speak to and provide factual evidence demonstrating that each element of the crime was consciously committed. For most criminal charges, there are multiple elements of the crime that must be successfully proven by the prosecution to have been committed by the defendant to convict them. Failure to prove even one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt will lead to their acquittal.
Difficulties And Debates Surrounding the Requirement of Establishing Proof in NJ Criminal Cases
One of the primary arguments that refutes the impenetrability of the burden of proof standard regards who the burden actually falls on. According to an article by Brooklynworks, a faculty publication of the Brooklyn Law School, the burden of proof concept focuses the jury on the defendant’s capacity to provide alternatives to the prosecution’s case, thus raising a reasonable doubt. Providing “clear and convincing evidence,” in many cases, would be a much more direct approach to defending innocence, but establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the burden the defense must bear.
Concerned About Protecting Your Innocence in NJ? Let Our Criminal Attorneys Assist You with the Defense Process
When it comes to defending your innocence in the court of criminal law, having the support of a skilled and experienced criminal defense team is a non-negotiable. While you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, only adequate legal counsel will help you defend against the prosecutor’s attempt to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Because each charge carries multiple elements that must be proven to substantiate a conviction, a qualified criminal defense attorney has multiple opportunities to raise reasonable doubt within the jury.
Our criminal defense team at The Bronzino Law Firm has had ample success representing clients in Point Pleasant, Long Branch, Sea Bright, Red Bank, Brick, Bay Head, and other Ocean and Monmouth County communities and calling on the support of professional relationships, expert investigators, and more to get our clients acquitted of the crimes for which they were charged. Contact us today at (732) 812-3102 or get in touch with our attorneys online for a free and confidential consultation and learn how we can support you in defending your innocence.