Being a lawyer who handles family, criminal, and car accident cases, I must be familiar with all standards of proof. Standard of proof is the level of convincing required to get a judge or jury to rule in your favor in a case. Convincing is done by putting forth evidence to establish the standard of proof. There are three standards of proof.
What are different types of evidence?
Evidence can be many things; the primary type of evidence generally used in court is sworn testimony given by witnesses or parties. Other evidence includes pictures, videos, emails, text messages, medical records, criminal records, web history, education records, etc. Sometimes testimony alone is not enough to establish proof because often there is conflicting testimony from two different parties; this is when additional evidence such as the ones listed above are more valuable.
What are the three standards of proof?
The three standards of proof from the most complex to prove to easiest to prove are: beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, and preponderance of the evidence.
Beyond a reasonable doubt:
Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof. It is the standard of proof used in criminal cases because of the severity of criminal cases and the consequences involved. Most crimes are punishable by jail AND fine. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that for a person to be convicted of a crime, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime. Suppose there is any reasonable doubt whatsoever, even if it means a one in a million chance the person did not commit the crime because an issue raises doubt, as long as the doubt is reasonable. In that case, the person must be found innocent.
Clear and convincing:
Clear and convincing evidence is the standard used in family law cases. Although this standard of proof is more accessible to establish than beyond a reasonable doubt, it is still a higher standard than the preponderance of the evidence. To prove something by clear and convincing evidence, the judge or jury must be pretty convinced about the point being argued.
Preponderance of evidence:
The preponderance of the evidence is the most accessible standard of proof to establish, and it is used in civil cases. To prove something by a preponderance of the evidence, one must prove that something happened more likely than not. This means even if both parties are believable, and one party may just have a fine thin hair more believable than the other, the more believable party wins, which is not the case in clear and convincing and not the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Our most recently appointed Supreme Court Justice, Justice Kavanaugh, was infamously accused of sexual assault by at least one woman. The allegations did not get to a court hearing, and it was confined to a congressional senate hearing. However, had a lawsuit been filed or criminal allegations been made, then two of those standards of proof could potentially apply depending on the situation. If the woman had filed a civil lawsuit, the preponderance of evidence standard of proof would have applied. If criminal charges were filed, the standard of proof would be beyond reasonable.
If you have any questions about standards of proof, how to meet your standard of proof in a car accident case, family, or criminal case, and are looking for a criminal defense attorney, family law attorney, or car accident attorney in North Houston; criminal defense attorney, family law attorney, or car accident attorney in Houston; criminal defense attorney, family law attorney, or car accident attorney in Texas; criminal defense attorney, family law attorney, or car accident attorney in Harris County; or criminal defense attorney, family law attorney, or car accident attorney in Montgomery County, call or email my office. At the A.T. Law Office, we handle family, criminal, and car accident cases. Our phone number is 832-800-5590, and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We also travel to different counties, including but not limited to Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, and Brazoria.