Peter Blair | December 7, 2015 | Defense
Say you are watching television on a Friday night and there’s a knock at your door – it’s the police, and they say that they have a witness saying that you assaulted them. You know in your mind that you haven’t even left your house that night and had nothing to do with the assault, but you’re being blamed for it anyway. Can you prove your innocence? In history, many people have been blamed for doing something they didn’t actually do – you have a right to prove that you are not guilty. On the other hand, certain people have also been proven guilty for things they say they have not done. Now you can find out more about how the process works.
You may have heard of a phrase known as “innocent until proven guilty.” This is based on a burden of proof, which is the duty of one party to convince the judge or jury that their version of specific facts is true. The burden of proof actually falls onto the prosecution to gather evidence and have to prove it. Something known as “beyond a reasonable doubt” comes into play, where a prosecution must prove their version of facts beyond that reasonable doubt. This means hat they have to show every single element of the crime from many different views.
When the prosecution must prove certain elements, Criminal Acts and Criminal Intent come into play. They must show that the defendant committed acts that make up the crime in question in a purposeful, knowing, and negligent manner. They must prove that the defendant acted with criminal intent, which can depend largely on the crime being charged.
Access to Police Personnel Files For Criminal Defendants
The sad truth is that, a policeman or woman may act negligently and purposely leaves out or add wrong info to a police report to get you into trouble. This happens sometimes and sometimes witnesses are left to refute the police’s version of the events that unfolded. So, what is a defendant to do? They may thankfully make a request when it is alleged that an officer was an aggressor and actually access the officer’s personnel records. Inside these records a defendant may find citizen complaints related to officer misconduct. This could work in favor of the defendant in some cases.
However, there is a process that a defendant must go through to access these records. When a request is made, the government usually reviews the files to help provide any information that can help the defense. If there is no helpful information relevant to the defendant’s case, they may refuse to hand anything over. There is a back alley way into this, however. If you believe that the government may have missed something or just outright refused to give you information that you deserve, there may be a way around it. Courts will frequently oversee the review by government officials. This means that, they too, will try to make a determination of whether or not they should disclose records to the defendant in hopes that it will help their defense.
If you wind up in a position where you are trying to prove your innocence for a crime and you think there is proof out there to help your case, you may need the help of an experienced attorney to help back you up. You may have questions for the attorney about proving your case if you are actually innocent and when you should speak or be silent. An attorney can be your best shoulder to lean on throughout this process. Call the Law Office of Peter Blair today to speak to someone you can trust about your case!