Most of us have heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” as it plays an important role in the criminal justice system and has significant meaning for any individual who has been accused of a crime. The presumption of innocence is a paramount feature of the criminal justice process in the United States and serves to protect individuals who have been accused of committing a crime.
The presumption that accused individuals are innocent until proven guilty serves as an important protection in many ways. One way that it protects accused individuals is by preventing them from having to prove their innocence. If accused individuals had to prove their innocence, it could lead to prosecutorial abuses and an abundance of charges the accused individual would have to disprove.
In addition, the presumption of innocence allows the accused individual to remain silent and, in fact, accused individuals have important protections allowing them to remain silent and preventing them from being compelled to testify against themselves. In addition, prosecutors must prove every element of the crime being charged against the accused individual so it is helpful to be familiar what the elements of the crime charged are.
There are many protections in place through the criminal justice system that accused individuals should be familiar with. Each criminal defense strategy is based upon theses protections and the unique facts and circumstances of the situation the accused individual is facing, which is why accused individuals should understand the criminal justice process as much as possible. Those faced with criminal charges may wish to speak with an experienced defense attorney in order to get a better understanding of their rights.
Source: Criminal.findlaw.com, “Criminal Procedure FAQ,” Accessed May 8, 2018