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When You Have Been Accused of Being a Criminal, But You Don’t Feel Like One


It is often said that the law is black and white, but that is not always true. The word “criminal” is based on the assumption of legal guilt rather than factual guilt – two terms which carry incredible importance in criminal court cases. First, it helps to understand what the word “criminal” means in law.

Definition of Criminal

So, you have been accused of being a criminal, but you do not feel like one? In criminal law, a person who has been accused of committing a crime is not necessarily a criminal for one very important reason: An accusation is not a verdict of guilty. The term criminal pertains to individuals who have been found guilty of an offense which causes social harm, and is punishable by law.

It is therefore the government’s responsibility to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that that an individual is guilty of a crime. This represents the bar for burden of proof in criminal cases, unlike in civil cases where the burden of proof need only show a preponderance of the evidence.

Legal Guilt

In order for an individual to be accurately referred to as a criminal, he or she must first be found legally guilty of committing a crime. Factual guilt and legal guilt are not the same things. For example, if you pushed an individual and that individual fell and hit his head, does that make you a criminal because it is an established fact that the event happened? A criminal lawyer could successfully argue that you were acting in self-defense, which could lead to the judge finding you not guilty of a crime. If you are found not guilty of a crime, you are in no way a criminal regardless of what other parties may continue to believe.

Mitigating Factors

Mental illness or disabilities are considered mitigating factors that may impact on a criminal case. Every individual in Florida is entitled to a fair trial under the law, which is why criminal lawyers are tasked with providing vigorous representation to every client. It helps keep the court system fair and balanced, where the assumption of guilt does not mean anything without the evidence to support such claims.

Tison Law Group Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing a crime and need expert representation, reach out to the Tison Law Group today. We will provide a free consultation on your case. You can call our offices at 813-739-1776 to speak with a member of our team.

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