Anybody can accuse anybody of anything at anytime. It’s a reality that exists. But simply being accused of something doesn’t make you guilty of it. You ARE presumed innocent, and you have the right to take the stand in your defense, although it cannot be held against you if you do not take the stand.Presumption of innocence – what is it? You start off with the legal position that you are innocent, and it’s up to the government to prove that you are guilty of what you’re accused of. You don’t have to prove that you’re innocent, the government has to prove that you committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the highest legal standard there is. How does the prosecution try to prove their case? The law defines what makes up a crime. Each element of that legal definition of the crime is like a piece of a puzzle. In order to prove someone committed a crime, every piece has to be there “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The prosecution has to use evidence to put the pieces together. There are rules to this process, too. The US and Kansas Constitutions both grant certain rights to individuals accused of crimes. Some of these rights, such as the right to an attorney and the right against self-incrimination, are summed up as so-called Miranda rights. You also have other constitutionally-guaranteed rights, such as a right to a “speedy” trial, which is separate from the statutory speedy trial right. Other laws might grant you additional rights, depending on the crime you’re accused of. Municipal court cases can entail jail time and fines, but you have no right to a jury (unless you appeal your conviction to the state court). Regarding state level crimes, you can have a jury trial or trial. Some state level charges can require a timely request for a jury trial.There are thousands of laws governing crimes at every level of government. The prosecution will have an entire team of investigators, lawyers, and specialists working to make their case. You deserve an experienced team dedicated to your defense. Call us today to learn more. by John W. Kerns, J.D.Hillary Stirling, research assistant
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