Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard that prosecutors have to prove before a person can be convicted of a crime. Either a judge or a jury might make the decision as to whether prosecutors present sufficient evidence to prove a person is guilty of a crime during the course of their trial.
Often, prosecutors will pursue domestic violence charges against a person in Colorado, before they have sufficient evidence. In the days following an arrest, investigators will assist prosecutors in gathering evidence. However, sometimes prosecutors don’t gain enough evidence to secure a conviction, and charges will be dropped before a trial even begins. Last week, a Denver NHL goalie had charges of domestic violence dropped because prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence. The man was accused of domestic violence against his girlfriend who he shared a condo with.
According to a report, the Denver District Attorney’s office dropped the charges because they didn’t feel they could prove the goalie committed third-degree assault beyond a reasonable doubt.
Domestic violence charges can be devastating to a person’s career. It is important, while being sensitive to any potential victims, that a person who is accused of a crime has a fair trial.
While people are presumed innocent in the criminal justice system, it is important that people are able to form a defense against the charges that they face. If someone doesn’t gather information to refute the evidence presented by the prosecution, they might be convicted. A conviction can result in a damaged reputation and even difficulty with the convicted person’s employer.
Source: Reuters, “Denver prosecutors drop domestic violence charges against NHL goalie,” Keith Coffman, Dec. 20, 2013