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An indictable offense is a serious offense that must be formally tried before a judge and a jury.

These kinds of cases are usually brought before the courts through an indictment. An indictment is a formal charge filed by a prosecutor: it states the facts that constitute the crime and that the accused is the person who is probably guilty of the crime.

The prosecutor is in charge of presenting the evidence that proves the guilt of the accused. He is tasked with the job to present all the relevant and material evidence that proves that it was the accused who committed all the acts that constitute the crime and that the accused had the necessary state of mind or intent to commit the crime. It is the prosecutor who has the burden or obligation to prove all this.

Just how much evidence a prosecutor needs to present is called the quantum of evidence. In a criminal case, the quantum of evidence is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must present evidence that is sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused up to a moral certainty. Reasonable doubt is a doubt that would make a reasonable man hesitate before acting upon things that are important to him.

To appreciate the strictness of the quantum of evidence required of a prosecutor before an accused is proven guilty, it should be compared with the quantum of evidence required in the case. Civil cases are those which arise from contractual or personal relations.

For one party to press his claim in a civil case and to obtain the relief he seeks, he simply needs to present evidence that has the greater weight than that of his opponent’s. Thus, in a civil case, you just need to tip the scale of evidence in your favour by presenting evidence of greater weight than the other party. In a criminal case, the prosecutor has to present evidence that overrides a reasonable man’s doubt as to the guilt of an accused person.

There is a higher quantum of evidence required to prove guilt in a criminal case because in a criminal case an accused is at risk of losing his life and his liberty whereas in a civil case, a complainant is at risk of losing only property rights or status. A person cannot be deprived of life or liberty without meeting the stringent requirements of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you are charged with drink driving offences and you have a previously proven offence, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance. This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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