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Reasonable Doubt in NC DWI Cases | Charlotte DUI Lawyer

reasonable doubtReasonable Doubt in DUI Cases

Because a Charlotte DWI is a criminal charge, you have Constitutional rights. Consequently, the State of North Carolina must prove you guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict. Just being arrested and charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. Rather, any one charged with a crime is presumed innocent. So what exactly does “reasonable doubt” really mean in a North Carolina DWI case? We explain further below.

Reasonable Doubt in North Carolina

First, it must be “a doubt based on reason and common sense, arising out of some or all of the evidence that has been presented.” In addition “or lack or insufficiency of the evidence, as the case may be.” Especially relevant is “proof that fully satisfies or entirely convinces you of the defendant’s guilt.” While lawyers have difficulty explaining this term, just imagine a jury trying to make sense of it. Perhaps that’s why juries usually struggle with this critical issue. And it does make a difference.

Reason and Common Sense

Almost every juror is confused during the instructions phase of a trial. That’s understandable. After all, with no legal training, they cannot be expected to fully understand complex jury charges. Fortunately, their life experiences and common sense makes up the difference. But even with common sense, the next part of the definition makes conviction a seemingly impossible hurdle. Rather, what “fully satisfies” and “entirely convinces?”  Hence, few things in life ever reach this level. Consequently, at trial, we focus on “reasonable doubt” and ask the jury to hold the State accountable. Furthermore, never forget the awesome power and resources of the State. As a result, it is not a fair fight. Rather, only by making the legal standard so high do we have even a chance at justice. That’s why an experienced DUI trial lawyer at your side is so critical. Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

How Juries Decide Cases

While experienced DWI lawyers know the law and police procedures, jurors do not. Consequently, all of the evidence and information is new to them. And they get a lot of information in a short period of time. It can be overwhelming. As a result, jurors usually get lost in the details. In the end, they decide on one or two factors. Despite all the attention given, juries do not focus on roadside field sobriety tests. Almost everyone knows these tests are difficult, if not impossible, to perform under any circumstances. But on the side of the road with a police officer, forget about it. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Furthermore, juries may or may not rely on blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. It just depends. For example, a high BAC reading should result in certain known “drunk” behaviors. If not seen on video, jurors will question the machine. In the end, jurors trust what they see and hear for themselves in the video evidence. While lawyers love to tell jurors what to watch for, they already know what “drunk” looks like and sounds like. Therefore, we prefer to let the jury discover the truth for themselves. Of course, we highlight the best parts for our client. But most of all, we show where the State cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is our pledge to you.

reasonable doubt