Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Florida DUI Case?
If you have been charged with DUI in Florida, you may have a lot of questions about what comes next. The criminal justice process can certainly seem daunting, particularly when you are not sure what is waiting for you on the other side of it. Understanding how the process operates and what you will need to do to succeed in your case can be hugely helpful moving forward, and a way of taking control of your circumstances. Some people are relieved to learn that the burden to prove they are guilty actually rests on the prosecution. While that is not an excuse to sit back and relax, it is a piece of information that can help you and your attorney strategize for court. It is also a helpful reality check. Even though you have been put in handcuffs and taken to jail, you are still innocent until proven guilty. It is the prosecution’s job to prove that you are guilty. It is your job to make that as hard as possible for them.
How Does the Burden of Proof Affect a DUI Case?
In a DUI case, having the burden of proof means that it is the prosecution’s responsibility (or, burden) to prove that you are actually guilty of the crime as charged. The bar for proving guilt in criminal court is high. In order to succeed in meeting their burden, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence and that you were in control of a motor vehicle. If there is any doubt in the minds of the jurors as to whether you actually were under the influence or were in control of a motor vehicle, then you should not be convicted of the crime, as the prosecution has failed to meet their burden of proving that you are guilty.