Many people have seen trials on TV, or even in their personal life, where someone who was charged with a criminal offense is found not guilty, even though many people believe that they did it. You might wonder why some people who appear to be guilty are found not guilty in the court of law. Here are a couple reasons why this might happen.
1. A Technicality
The courts are very strict. They have a certain way of doing things and you have to follow or else you could be in trouble. For this reason, some people are found not guilty for a crime that they may have committed because of a technicality.
For instance, let's say someone was charged with theft by deception. This is a different charge than theft. If the attorney can prove that there was no deception from the person they could be found not guilty, even if they did steal something. That is why it is so important that the police, and courts, take the time to make sure that the person is charged with the correct crime.
2. Reasonable Doubt
With serious criminal charges the jury will only be able to convict the person if they are beyond reasonable doubt. For instance, if someone is charged with murder the court has the burden of proving, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant did it. If they cannot do that, or if there is not enough evidence or eyewitnesses, they might not be found guilty.
This is because in the United States you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that you cannot imprison someone and charge them with a serious crime unless you can prove that they did it.
3. Illegal Evidence
There are also very strict ways that evidence must be gathered. The police have to be very careful about the way that they go about getting evidence otherwise it cannot be used in court.
For instance, the constitution protects citizens from illegal searches. This means that if the police illegally search your home, meaning either without your permission or a search warrant, they cannot use the evidence they find in your house. Even if they found the murder weapon in your house, they cannot use it in the trial if the weapon was found illegally.
These are just some of the reasons why there might be a different outcome on a case than you might expect. For more information, contact a professional like Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices.