Understanding the burden of proof in litigation

| Jul 6, 2021 | Criminal Law

Just because an individual feels that they have a strong court case, it doesn’t mean that they are going to win it. In Georgia, there needs to be a burden of proof in civil or criminal litigation. Here’s more information about what it is and who has to establish it.

What it is

The burden of proof basically means that there has to be proof of some sort of wrongdoing. This proof, also known as evidence, can come in a variety of different forms such as documents, photos or testimony from witnesses. In general, there needs to be various forms of evidence brought before a judge to establish the burden of proof.

Who has it

In civil litigation, the plaintiff has to supply the burden of proof. If they don’t, they probably won’t be able to win their case. However, it tends to be different when it comes to criminal cases. Defendants are treated as innocent unless it’s proven otherwise, and the prosecution does still need to provide enough evidence to prove their case. However, because the stakes tend to be quite high in criminal matters, many defendants do try to provide a sufficient amount of evidence to support their claims that they are innocent. In criminal cases, the prosecution tries to collect as much evidence as possible as it can be more difficult to get a conviction than in a civil case. They don’t want to risk the defendant going free because they didn’t satisfy the burden of proof they needed to in order to win their case.

Both plaintiffs and defendants need to know what the burden of proof is. By having a clearer understanding of it, they will have a better chance of winning their civil or criminal case.