We’ve heard the term “guilty until proven innocent” many times. However, few stop to consider what this phrase means, exactly. It’s the cornerstone of the American legal system, and it allows people the chance to prove their innocence in front of a jury of their peers. Whether you’ve recently been accused of a crime or just want to keep your mind open to the facts of the law, understanding the ins and outs of this concept is important to help protect your rights.
When you are arrested for a crime, you are being charged. While it may require you to spend some time in jail, there is often the chance for you to make bail and be released. Since you have not yet been proven guilty and innocence must be presumed, this means that a bail bondsman can help you be released with the promise you’ll show up for court. Bondsman understand all too well that many in jail are innocent of their crimes, and they put their faith in them to arrive at their court date in order to prove their case.
During the trial, the defendant has the chance to present a strong case to the judge to prove that they are innocent of the crimes for which they are being charged or at least have them reduced. One of the most common ways to do so is to provide an alibi that can account for your whereabouts during the time of the alleged crime. For example, if you were at the movies with friends at the time a fire was set that you are accused of starting, your friends can provide testimony. You could even request surveillance footage near the theater to further strengthen your case.
In the event you are being charged with battery or some other type of violence, self defense is another common defense. This means that the victim in fact provoked the violent act by inflicting or intending to inflict harm on you. You have the right to defend yourself in this situation.
While less common, insanity is another defense sometimes used. This means that the defendant was not in the right mental capacity to be capable of making sane decisions at the time of the crime. However, if the defendant doesn’t have a history or mental disease, this can be a tough case to prove.
We all make mistakes, and that’s what helps us learn. Sometimes, those mistakes fall outside of the law. If you’ve been charged with a crime, the days, weeks, and months ahead will be stressful. After all, you’ll be facing judges and prosecutors whose primary goal is to show you did something wrong and punish you.
However, by taking the time to understand the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” you have a better grasp of how the laws can work in your favor as well as how to present your case in such a way to support your innocence or reduce your charges. In the meantime, a bail bondsman can prove to be a welcomed ally during this tough time. They can help you get out of jail in order to sort everything out before your court date in order to best prove your innocence.