Standards of Evidence
Standards of Evidence In any type of legal case, there are different standards of evidence by which the case is proved. The different standards are: preponderance of the evidence; clear and convincing evidence; beyond a reasonable doubt. Preponderance of the Evidence Preponderance of the evidence is the lowest standard of proof. It requires that the accusing party must have at least 51% of the evidence on their side. Most civil cases require that the plaintiff prove the case by showing a preponderance of the evidence on their side. Another example of this standard is in DMV hearings for DUI cases. When a person is arrested for a DUI, the DMV holds a hearing as to whether the person should keep their driver’s license. At this hearing, the DMV must prove that the person’s blood alcohol level was .08% or higher. The DMV only needs to show that the evidence is 51% on their side to win the hearing. Another example of this standard is in domestic violence restraining order cases. The petitioner, or alleged victim, only needs to show the court that 51% of the evidence supports their case. Clear and Convincing Evidence Clear and convincing evidence is the middle standard of proof. There is no percentage that is associated with clear and convincing evidence, but it requires that the accusing party must have significantly more than 50% of the evidence on their side. Most family court cases require a clear and convincing evidence standard. Also, civil restraining order cases use a clear and convincing evidence standard. Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof in the United States, although there is no percentage that is officially assigned to this standard. This is the standard of proof that is used in all criminal cases. In order for a jury to convict someone in a criminal case, they must find them guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This means, the jurors must have “an abiding conviction of the truth of the charge.” Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not proof beyond all doubt, because everything in life is open to some possible doubt. However, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is one of the strongest safeguards people have when accused of a crime. The Right Lawyer Fred Thiagarajah has used all three standards of evidence in hundreds of cases, including DMV hearings, domestic violence restraining order cases, civil restraining order cases and criminal cases. As a graduate of USC Law School from 1999, Fred Thiagarajah has the intelligence and experience to get the best results possible. With criminal defense offices in Newport Beach, Riverside and Beverly Hills, Fred Thiagarajah has criminal defense experience in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties.