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What Exactly is Reasonable Doubt in a Las Vegas Criminal Case?


When someone is arrested on suspicion of a crime in Las Vegas, Nevada law states that the person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Proving guilt in a criminal case is a task left for a prosecutor to pursue, as he or she carries what’s known as the burden of proof. This is not an easy task, considering that the guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This means that the prosecutor’s job is to convince the judge or jury that the defendant is guilty of the crime. In contrast, the criminal defense attorney’s job is to sprinkle a grain of doubt in the case to free the defendant.  But what exactly is reasonable doubt? If you find yourself facing a criminal matter, this is a term you should become familiar with.

How Nevada Defines Reasonable Doubt

Since the basis for reasonable doubt is reason, it’s based on common sense. Meaning that it’s ordinary or average. Reasonable doubt does not require a guess, hypothesis, or a prediction. The prosecutor’s evidence must be so convincing that the judge or jury is sure that the person committed the crime. The evidence must be clear. This is where the criminal defense attorney’s role comes into action.

A Criminal Defense Attorney’s Role in Creating Reasonable Doubt

As mentioned earlier in this article, a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney’s job in a criminal case is to sprinkle a grain of doubt to get a not guilty verdict for their client. Remember, the prosecutor’s evidence must be clear. It can’t be clear if the defense attorney is introducing sprinkles of doubt. The attorney will use certain defense strategies to create reasonable doubt such as:

  • Revealing law enforcement mistakes
  • Questioning the believability or credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses
  • Presenting evidence to show someone else committed the crime

With these defenses creating doubt within the eyes and minds of the judge and jury, the prosecution’s criminal case will fail and the person accused will be set free.

How a Criminal Case Fails with Reasonable Doubt

When the prosecution cannot prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt, the case fails. For example, a Las Vegas Sun article states that Cristiano Ronaldo, the famous soccer player, will not face sexual assault charges because the evidence presented along with the sexual assault claims cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This determination came into play after a review of a new police investigation.

Lobo Law Protects Your Rights

If you’re accused of a crime, let Lobo Law help. Adrian Lobo is a skilled and compassionate Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer with more than 12 years of defending criminal matters. When results matter, contact Lobo Law at 702-290-8998.


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