Criminal Cases & the Burden of Production

Are you facing criminal charges in Orange County, California? If so, soon your defense attorney will be explaining the “burden of production,” and what it means to your criminal case. Cornell Law School defines the burden of production as, “A party’s legal obligation to come forward with sufficient evidence to support a particular proposition of fact.”

Cornell Law School goes on to say, “When a party has satisfied its burden of production, it has produced enough evidence on an issue to have the issue decided by the fact-finder rather than decided against the party in a directed verdict, motion for judgement as a matter of law or motion for summary judgement.”

So, what does this mean in layman terms? The burden of production refers to a party’s responsibility to produce enough evidence to support the facts it proposed in a case. Does this only apply to the prosecution? No, it applies to the prosecution and the defense; they both have the burden of production. Suppose the prosecution cannot provide enough evidence to satisfy the “burden of production.” In that situation, the case can be dismissed, or it can result in a directed verdict.

Direct Verdicts, What are They?

What is a directed verdict? According to Cornell Law School, it’s “A ruling entered by a trial judge after determining that there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to reach a different conclusion.” A trial court can grant a directed verdict after either party files a motion, but such a verdict isn’t usually granted until at least one of the parties have been fully heard.

To learn more about directed verdicts in the United States, see Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

If you are facing criminal charges, you may be thinking, “But there’s no evidence against me! How can the state prosecute me?” Whether or not you believe the state has sufficient evidence against you, it’s critical that you have a strong defense. Contact our firm today to schedule a free criminal defense consultation!

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