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The Burden of Proof

Before an individual can be convicted of a crime or found liable for an injury, there must have been
sufficient evidence presented to the jury to satisfy the burden of proof for the alleged action of the
defendant. The burden of proof shifts based on the type of lawsuit and whether the action is civil or

In civil courts, which is where personal injury lawsuits are filed and tried, the burden of proof that
anyone pleading a case must meet is “preponderance of the evidence.” This is the lowest possible level
of proof that must be met in order for an individual to win his or her case. The other two levels are
“clear and convincing evidence” and “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The standard of beyond a reasonable doubt is used in criminal trials and is thought to mean that the
jury must be about 99% convinced that the facts as laid out are true and that the defendant did what
he or she was accused of doing. It has also been interpreted to mean that the jury must have a degree
of moral certitude in order to convict a person.

Preponderance of the evidence is the lowest standard and really just means that the jury has to be about
51% certain. The evidence must point in one direction in a somewhat conclusive manner. As the majority
of civil cases do not involve incarceration, it is not necessary to have a person be 100% certain in
order to make a decision in the case.

Contact a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, contact the Cincinnati
personal injury attorneys
of Stepleton Dugan, LLC at 513-321-7733.

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Stepleton Dugan, LLC
6071 Montgomery Road
CincinnatiOH 45213
(513) 321-7733
Stepleton Dugan, LLC
6071 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213
(513) 321-7733

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