Police and prosecutors accuse innocent Texas citizens of crimes they didn’t commit all the time. Imagine you were riding with your friend who had marijuana in his car. You could get charged with a possession offense if police find the marijuana under your seat. Or, maybe you were spending time at your brother’s house when authorities broke into the residence and accused him of operating a methamphetamine laboratory.
Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest and charges, if you’re innocent, there are a few things you ought to know.
3 things every innocent Texas defendant needs to remember
Innocent until proven otherwise: It doesn’t matter how serious the criminal charges are. You’re still innocent of the crime until — and only if — the prosecution proves you to be guilty. The American legal system places the burden of proof on the prosecution, and therefore, you will remain innocent until the prosecution proves it otherwise. For this reason, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to say a word in your defense and you do not have to show evidence that you’re innocent. It can be enormously helpful to you in many cases if you do, but it is not a requirement.
Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt: All defendants have the benefit of the doubt in their criminal cases. If the judge or jury still hold a reasonable doubt in their minds as to your guilt, then the jury and judge must rule that you’re innocent of the alleged crimes. As a result of the high standard of reasonable doubt, many defendants attempt to raise a doubt as a primary part of their criminal defenses.
Do you have an alibi? Having an alibi means that you were in a different location from where the crime happened at the time the crime happened. Your alibi could be a person who vouches that you were in a specific place at a specific time, or it could be a time-stamped and dated receipt from a purchase you made with a credit card at a specific place. A strong alibi could be sufficient evidence to prevent a conviction in your criminal matter.
Decide how you will defend yourself in your case
By analyzing the facts and arguments that the prosecution presents against you, you can evaluate whether a conviction is likely to occur. If it seems that there’s nothing you can do to refute the facts and evidence, you might want to consider negotiating a plea deal. Otherwise, if there is a measure of doubt as to your guilt, you may choose a criminal defense with the goal of getting the charges dropped or dismissed, or seek a verdict of not guilty.
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