Simple English definitions for legal terms
A quick definition of standard of proof:
Standard of proof: The level of proof required in a specific case, such as "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "by a preponderance of the evidence." It's like a rule that says how sure we need to be before we can say something is true. In civil cases, the person who sues someone else needs to prove their case by showing that it's more likely than not that they're right. In criminal cases, the prosecutor needs to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which means they need to be almost completely sure that the person they're accusing is guilty.
A more thorough explanation:
The standard of proof refers to the level of evidence required to prove a case. It can be different depending on the type of case and the court where it is being heard.
The burden of persuasion is the responsibility of a party to convince the fact-finder (usually a judge or jury) to view the facts in a way that favors that party. This burden can be different in civil and criminal cases.
- In a civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of persuasion and must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that they must show that it is more likely than not that their version of the events is true.
- In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of persuasion and must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that they must show that there is no other reasonable explanation for the evidence presented other than the defendant's guilt.
These examples illustrate how the standard of proof and burden of persuasion can differ depending on the type of case. In a civil case, the plaintiff only needs to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. This is because the consequences of a civil case are usually less severe than a criminal case, such as monetary damages instead of imprisonment.
standard of need |
standard of review