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If 2019 has taught us anything, it is that the court of public opinion has only grown stronger through the popularity of social media. While rumors and assertions of falsehoods spread wildly over the internet, the larger issue is not contained to the online world — it is stretching into courtrooms across the country.
The public is exhibiting an overwhelming zest for announcing an individual’s guilt before they have had their day in court, which cannot only taint the case of the defendant, but it can significantly boost the prosecution’s case — all before the trial even begins. Outrage will definitely sway opinions, but each person who is accused of a crime in the United States must retain the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
What Does The Presumption of Innocence Mean?
The presumption of innocence is almost always paraphrased as “innocent until proven guilty.” Our Washington D.C. criminal defense attorneys believe in everyone’s right to this presumption and insists that the prosecutor’s office strongly presents their case in court, so that the jurors may reasonably conclude whether or not our clients almost certainly committed the crime they are being charged with.
The 14th amendment to the United States’ Constitution guarantees every person, aliens included, “equal protection under the law.” The presumption of innocence places the burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, on the prosecutor’s office, delivering fundamental protection for the person who is accused of the crime.
This means that the judge and jury are not to draw negative inferences from the fact that the defendant has been charged with a crime, is in court, and represented by an attorney. The case must be decided solely by the evidence presented at trial.
With respect to the criminal facts, the judge or jury will determine whether:
- The crime the individual was charged with was committed
- The defendant was the person who committed the crime, based on the entire burden of proof, which is the obligation of the prosecutor’s office’s
With respect to the critical facts of the case, the defendant:
- Does not have to testify
- Does not have to call witnesses or present any evidence
- Does not have any burden of proof whatsoever
What’s more is that the lack of testimony or evidence produced by the defendant cannot be used against him/her during the trial.
Partner With the Our Criminal Defense Team Today
At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our defense attorneys in Washington D.C. and throughout Maryland understand that our clients require skilled representation to ensure their rights are protected at all times. We also understand that individual’s do not simply appear in court unless there is a victim, arrest, and prosecutorial charges waged against them. It is our duty to supply those who are facing these charges with the legal representation they deserve to persevere — which includes our client’s right to request bail. And even if the court refuses that request, which is their legal prerogative, the presumption of innocence must remain through trial.
Being accused of a crime does not mean you are guilty of a crime. Our criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP are available to discuss your Washington D.C. or Maryland case now by calling (202) 393-0535. You have the right to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and we would like to help you maintain that position beginning today.