3 Standards of Proof You Should Know – Regardless of what legal case you are involved in, it is the obligation of one or both parties to produce enough evidence to prove their case. But it’s important to note that the standards of proof — the amount of proof you must have — differs ever so slightly depending on if you are in a civil or criminal case.
Below are three standards of proof you should know and which cases they are linked with:
Clear and Convincing Evidence
This standard of proof is for civil cases. It means that the evidence presented by a party during the trial must be highly and substantially more probable to be true than not. On top of that, the trier of fact must have a firm belief or conviction in its factuality. Examples of civil cases where this standard of proof would come into play include:
- Restraining orders
- Probate cases
- Cases involving loss of parental rights
A preponderance of the Evidence
One of the lesser standards of proof is referred to as preponderance of the evidence. These are also specific to civil cases but aren’t as strict as having to provide clear and convincing evidence. A party has to show that something was more likely to have occurred when compared with the evidence from the offending party. In other words, the evidence from one side carries more weight, even if there is only a 51 percent likelihood that it is true. Example cases include:
- Car accidents
- Breach of contract
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
This standard of proof is specific to criminal cases and involves an immensely higher standard of proof — especially when the court is dealing with the facts in a murder or burglary case. At the end of the day, you must prove that the only logical explanation based on the facts is that the offending party committed the criminal act.
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Do you have a legal question regarding a potential civil or criminal case? It is important that you have an attorney by your side who has the experience to answer it. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this issue.
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