Law – How evidentiary standards are determined in criminal cases

As highlighted in our previous article, different legal proceedings will require the parties involved to meet what are commonly referred to as the burden of proof and evidentiary standards. These are essentially the rules that will determine which of the parties holds the responsibility of providing sufficient evidence that will either prove or disprove a certain claimas well as the threshold of evidence required.

Below are the 4 main factors that will come into play when determining evidentiary standards that are determined in criminal cases.

#Beyond a reasonable doubt

Beyond a reasonable doubt is considered as the highest standard of proof that is likely to be imposed on a party during a criminal case. In most cases, it’s a standard that the prosecution side will have to meet as they are required to demonstrate that if all the facts of the case are taken into consideration, the only logical conclusion is that the accused person is responsible for committing the alleged crime, and there is no other possible explanation that can be arrived at from the evidence that has been presented to the court.

#Probable cause

Probable cause is another standard that is applicable in criminal cases and is a standard that both parties that is the prosecution and the defense can meet in order to tilt the case in their favor. In most cases, probable cause will favor the defense team because it requires them to simply demonstrate that based on the evidence that has been provided in court there is a possibility that someone else other than the defendant may have been responsible for committing the alleged crime.

#Reasonable belief and reasonable suspicion

Reasonable belief and reasonable suspicion are standards that are used when evaluating evidence in criminal cases and will mostly be imposed on law enforcers. Essentially, these law enforcers are required to demonstrate that the circumstances that they had been presented with on the ground led them to reasonably conclude that the defendant was about to commit a criminal offence. This is mostly required when arrests were made by law enforcers without having prior arrest warrants.


Credible evidence is a standard of proof that is applied in criminal cases and it essentially means that the evidence being presented does not necessarily have to be true but it makes enough sense so it can be believed. This can be applied by both the prosecution and the defense teams as they try to convince the jury to rule in their favor. It’s mostly argued that as long as the evidence that has been presented is reasonable, natural, and probable then it can be considered as credible.

We trust that the next time you hear these terms being used in a criminal case you will have a proper understanding of what they mean.

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