One of the most basic and common defenses to any criminal charge is the “I didn’t do it” argument.
To be convicted of a crime, the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. During any part of the trial, the defendant can present a defense that may actually raise a reasonable doubt.
In the U.S. criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty. The defendant can choose to remain silent, which is called “pleading the fifth.” It’s the prosecutor’s job to prove that you’re guilty, not the defendant’s job to prove they are innocent.
There are some common ways the defense may try to prove that you didn’t commit a crime and are being wrongly accused.
- Beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor has a big job of proving there’s no reasonable doubt that an individual committed the crime. If there is reasonable doubt, then you won’t be proven guilty so this will be a heavy focus for the defense.
- Alibi. This is one of the more common ways that an individual can try and prove their innocence. An alibi can help prove they were with someone or somewhere else when the crime occurred. The judge and jury may then say it’s unlikely the defendant was at the crime scene, creating reasonable doubt.
If you’ve been wrongly accused of a crime, you need to make certain you hire an experienced lawyer who can prove your innocence.