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What does “innocent until proven guilty” really mean?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Most people are familiar with the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” but don’t realize its full power until they become the target of a law enforcement investigation. For those who plead guilty without thinking it through, the power of those words may be lost forever.

The presumption of innocence is one of our most powerful constitutional protections. Some of its most relevant real life applications take place on the streets of Chicago on a daily basis.

Charged with DUI?

There are many ways “innocent until proven guilty” comes into play in a DUI case. Police officers like to make it seem like their case against you is ironclad when, in fact, all DUI evidence is subject to scrutiny. A skilled defense lawyer knows how to expose weaknesses in evidence from breath tests, field sobriety tests and other sources. No matter how high you blew or how poorly you performed on the field sobriety test, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Arrested for a gun crime in Chicago?

Did they find a gun in your car or your home, or perhaps on your person? The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us all from illegal searches and seizures by police officers. Before the police can legally search your car or home, they must have probable cause. Any evidence obtained from illegal searches can be challenged and thrown out in court. Once again, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Remember those four words

One reason we must never forget the power of “innocent until proven guilty” is so that we don’t make mistakes at the time of the arrest. Don’t ever plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The case against you may be weaker than you think.