Because drunk driving cases – also known as driving under the influence, or DUI – take so long in Atlanta, it can be easy to lose sight of your ultimate goal, if you've been charged for DUI: Acquittal. Keeping this in your mind as you plod through the mire that is the criminal justice system is important, though. If you let it slip out of your mind, and start focusing on the smaller details of your DUI defense, you start to not only lose focus on what you're aiming for, but also start to get stressed out needlessly over tiny details. Saving yourself some peace of mind is important, so focus on that end goal.
You get an acquittal from the jury if you manage to successfully defend yourself against the prosecutor's charge against you. To understand how to do this, though, you need to have a solid understanding of what a burden of proof is, and how it works in the criminal justice system.
In all court cases, one side has the burden of proof. The burden of proof is the responsibility of showing that what you're saying is correct. In DUI cases, it's the prosecutor who bears this burden. Therefore, it's up to the prosecutor to show that you're guilty of the crime of DUI – it's not up to you to prove that you're innocent. This is an important difference to understand. It means that, when you're defending against a DUI charge, you don't have to say that you're innocent in order to get acquitted. Instead, all you have to show is that the prosecutor hasn't met his or her burden of proof.
There are also different standards of burdens of proof, depending on the case. These different standards require the side with the burden of proof to prove what they're saying to a specific degree of certainty. In most civil cases, the standard is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” In criminal cases, including your DUI case, however, the standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This is good. Because it's the prosecutor who has the burden of proof, and because the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, in order for you to get convicted for DUI, the prosecutor has the job of showing that you're guilty, and he or she has to show that there are no legitimate doubts about it. This isn't easy for the prosecutor to do, but if the standard isn't met, you'll be acquitted by the jury at trial.
The best thing that you can do to ensure that the prosecutor doesn't meet the burden of proof that they have to meet is to hire a solid DUI defense attorney. We're professional reasonable doubt makers, and we specialize in raising them in the DUI context. Having defended thousands of DUI cases in the past, we understand exactly where reasonable doubts can be made, and how to do it the best. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.