reasonable doubt
reasonable doubt n: a doubt esp. about the guilt of a criminal defendant that arises or remains upon fair and thorough consideration of the evidence or lack thereof
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 doubtTexas Penal Code see also standard of proof compare clear and convincing, preponderance of the evidence
◇ Proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is required for conviction of a criminal defendant. A reasonable doubt exists when a factfinder cannot say with moral certainty that a person is guilty or a particular fact exists. It must be more than an imaginary doubt, and it is often defined judicially as such doubt as would cause a reasonable person to hesitate before acting in a matter of importance.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

reasonable doubt
n.
Enough uncertainty that a person has committed a crime, based on evidence or lack thereof, that a person of ordinary prudence and logical ability would hesitate to find him or her guilty.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


reasonable doubt

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


reasonable doubt
The standard of proof used in criminal trials to find a defendant guilty of a crime. When a criminal defendant is prosecuted, the prosecutor must prove the defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." A reasonable doubt exists when a juror cannot say with moral certainty that a person is guilty. Compare: preponderance of the evidence
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


reasonable doubt
n. The amount of doubt that would cause one to believe that the defendant might not actually be guilty of the charged offense(s). "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is the amount of certainty that a juror must have in order to find a criminal defendant guilty as charged.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


reasonable doubt
A standard of proof that must be surpassed to convict an accused in a criminal proceeding.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


reasonable doubt
I
A standard of proof that must be surpassed to convict an accused in a criminal proceeding.
II An accused person is entitled to acquittal if, in the minds of the jury, his or her guilt has not been proved beyond a "reasonable doubt;" that state of minds of jurors in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

reasonable doubt
n.
   not being sure of a criminal defendant's guilt to a moral certainty. Thus, a juror (or judge sitting without a jury) must be convinced of guilt of a crime (or the degree of crime, as murder instead of manslaughter) "beyond a reasonable doubt," and the jury will be told so by the judge in the jury instructions. However, it is a subjective test since each juror will have to decide if his/her doubt is reasonable. It is more difficult to convict under that test, than "preponderance of the evidence" to decide for the plaintiff (party bringing the suit) in a civil (non-criminal) trial.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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