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IS THERE A FLORIDA STATUTE FOR "PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE" JUST LIKE TEXAS HAS??? Does Florida have any similar statute??

Orlando, FL |

Art. 38.03. [705] [785] [765] PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. All
persons are presumed to be innocent and no person may be convicted
of an offense unless each element of the offense is proved beyond a
reasonable doubt. The fact that he has been arrested, confined, or
indicted for, or otherwise charged with, the offense gives rise to
no inference of guilt at his trial. Does Florida have any similar statute??

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

This sounds more like a jury instruction. There is no need to have this set forth in a statute, it is a basic requirement of all criminal law cases. I am not aware of such a statute in Florida.

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Asker

Posted

Wait so this is a REQUIREMENT for ALL criminal law cases in EVERY state??

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Yes, of course. Everyone is presumed innocent and guilt has to be proven by proving all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That is what the jury is for. In juvenile cases it is usually just a judge, juvenile cases are different as are the consequences, but the presumption is the same. This is a fundamental premise of our legal system.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

The fact finder (judge or jury) is the one who determines what facts to believe. The lawyer's job is to get all the important facts into evidence. If there is a legal error, or a clear abuse of the standard in application to the facts, then an appeal should be considered. Post conviction remedies are also sometimes available, for example if the defendant had ineffective assistance of counsel at trial (a defense which also has specific legal requirements that must be proven)

Asker

Posted

Yes I see Mrs. Morcroft, I am trying to find a statute or jury instruction to show PROOF to a judge that ALL ELEMENTS of the crime were NOT proven that my loved one was convicted of. In fact, one of the elements states exactly that "You cannot convict someone of ____________ if the defendant _________ _____ ______. When my loved one did just that of which the statute says you cannot convict someone of doing if they done this. Would that Texas Jury instruction be some evidence to bring forth to a judge in a brief with other elements??

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Well, that's the problem. A statute or a jury instruction is not proof of anything. Failure to properly apply the statute or failure to allow a jury instruction may be a legal error which is appealable if it can be shown to have caused harm. Proof is the facts that are introduced at trial and determined by the judge or jury. What the judge or jury determines to be the facts ARE legally the facts. The only way to appeal a determination of fact is if is is impossible or incrediby unlikely for it to match the legal standard. So, for example, if it was impossible or completely unreasonable for a judge or jury to conclude guilt beyond a reasonable doubt based upon all the facts introduced at trial then that could be an appealable issue. An appellate court does not normally reweigh the facts and decide that the judge or jury reached the wrong conclusion, and should have focused on other facts. I don't know if you are doing an appeal or what, but it sounds as if you are in way over your head and need to get an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Great answers ! Thank you Mrs. Morcroft, I'll tell the defendant about what you wrote & see what we can do further.

Posted

I am sure that it does & even if not, it is basic that the burder of proof in a criminal matter is that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That burder is much higher than in civil matters.

This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.

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Asker

Posted

Yes, but, I am trying to find a statute or jury instruction to show PROOF to a judge that ALL ELEMENTS of the crime were NOT proven that my loved one was convicted of. In fact, one of the elements states exactly that "You cannot convict someone of ____________ if the defendant _________ _____ _______.

Asker

Posted

and my loved one did just that of which the statute says you cannot convict someone of doing if they done this.

Posted

You will find language similar to this in the jury instructions every Judge in Florida must read to every jury before they deliberate. The real question is, "What is reasonable doubt?" There is a different definition in every state, and none of them are very clear. Framing the definition is often key to winning the case.

For more information or to set up a free consultation contact the Witt Law at 407-205-WITT (9488). This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship. It is offered for informational purposes only. Please consult with a licensed attorney before making any legal decisions.

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Posted

It is in the standard jury intructions

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Posted

I don't know anything about Texas Law, but, unlike the U.S. Constitution (which does guarantee a presumption of innocence), the Constitution of the State of Florida does not explicitly guarantee you a presumption of innocence, nor is there a per se statute in Florida providing for the same. Florida is explicitly bound to follow the U.S. Constitution however, and, as my colleagues have aptly pointed out, Florida's Standard Criminal Jury Instructions speak both loudly and clearly on the presumption of innocence.

You may want to Google the Standard Jury Instruction in Criminal Cases , which are mandatorily read to every jury in every criminal case in the State of Florida. 2.1 - Preliminary Instructions states "... At no time is it the duty of the defendant to prove [his] [her] innocence... a jury is not permitted to to draw any inference of guilt..." Also, 3.7 - Plea of Nor Guilty, Reasonable Doubt and Burden of Proof states that "...The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty. This means that you must presume or believe the defendant is innocent. the presumption stays with the defendant as to each material allegation in the [information] [indictment] through each stage of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt. To overcome the defendant's presumption of innocence, the state has the burden of proving the crime with which the defendant was charged was committed and the defendant is the person who committed the crime..."

I hope that this was helpful.

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