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Brooks Law Office
Feb. 16, 2021

The burden of proof is the duty or responsibility placed upon a party or an individual to prove or disprove disputed facts. The burden of proof involves the ability of a person to produce tangible evidence as well as being able to convince the judges to believe and accept the said evidence.

When it comes to criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution team, since they are the ones responsible for proving that the defendant is guilty. This allows a jury to issue a conviction based on the evidence presented.

In some cases, it is the defendant who has the duty to establish his or her own burden of proof. When it comes to civil cases, it is the plaintiff that is tasked with the responsibility of proving his or her innocence.

The fact that there are various jurisdictions means that there are also a number of ways that a defendant will have to prove his or her innocence in a litigation process. They include the following:

Lower-Level Standards

Some Credible Evidence

In all the types of burden of proof, “some credible evidence” is the one with the minimum demanding standards. Some credible evidence is often used in administrative law. Some credible evidence is commonly applied in case of an urgent need for a short period – for example, when the life of a child is in danger. In other words, some credible evidence is an example of a burden of proof that serves as a legal placeholder until more evidence is availed. It is also important to note that some credible evidence has lower standards compared to other types of burdens of proof.

Probable Cause

Before any arrest or search warrant is conducted, the police are supposed to abide by all the stipulations of the Fourth Amendment – which gives all Americans the right to probable cause. The only way to prove probable cause is to prove a reasonable basis. But there are exceptions where arrests can be made without a search warrant.

Major Types of Burden of Proof

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

The standard of proof for criminal trials is known as “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to determine if the defendant is guilty. For a reasonable doubt to exist, jurors should be able to prove that an individual is guilty with moral certainty.

Clear and Convincing Evidence

The other way of showing the burden of proof the use of clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence calls for a thorough standard compared to preponderance. Clear and convincing evidence is usually used as the standard for burden of proof for civil and criminal cases. When conducting civil lawsuits, clear and convincing is used when a case is about things such as:


The burden of proof for preponderance standard can be fulfilled when a person is able to convince a judge or investigator that there are higher chances of their claim being true. Preponderance of evidence is commonly found in civil trials.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney who will make sure you get what you deserve. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, Brooks Law Office has 35 years of trial experience ready to go to work for you.