Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable Doubt in DUI cases: how to effectively argue doubt.

Reasonable Doubt is a legal concept that is used in criminal trials, where the jury is instructed to find the defendant not guilty if the proof in the case has reasonable doubt. The concept of reasonable doubt is complex and involves a number of factors that a lawyer must argue to a jury to ensure the best possible outcome for their client.

CALCRIM 220: Reasonable Doubt Jury Instruction:

In court, the jury is given instructions by the judge on how to examine the evidence. In criminal cases, these instructions are found in something called “CALCRIM,” which is written by the California Judicial Council. In crimial cases, these jury instructions tell the jury how lto examine and weigh the evidence in the case. One of the most important instructions a jury gets is CALCRIM 220, the Reasonable doubt instruction. This instruction tells the jury that if there is a single reasonable doubt in a criminal case, the jury must vote not guilty.

The reasonable doubt standard: Not possible or imaginary doubt:

CALCRIM 220 points out that everything in life is open to possible or imaginary doubt, and that the jury is to overlook these doubts. However, if there is reasonable doubt, then the jury must vote not guilty. Reasonable doubt can be for any reason:
-Witness credibility
-Differences in the stories told by the witnesses
-Inaccuracies in scientific evidence
-Doubtful facts that cannot be believed

CALCRIM 220 is very clear on the subject, if there is any doubt, the jury must acquit the defendant and vote not guilty.   This standard applies to all criminal defendants charged with any criminal charge.

Examples of Reasonable doubt:

Common examples of reasonable doubt include witnesses being caught in untruthful testimony, evidence being improperly gathered, evidence that can be interpreted in a manner that points to guilt and innocence depending upon how it is examined.


Posted in DUI Defenses.

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