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Understand the Legal Principle of Prima Facie

Prima Facie

In the United States, the prosecution is usually appointed the burden of proof. As a result, the prosecution must provide evidence that proves the defendant's guilty. The evidence must convince the jury that the defendant has committed the offense that he/she has been accused of. However, before a criminal case can unfold, the prosecution must provide the court with prima facie evidence, in an initial trial.

Prima facie evidence is the original evidence that is presented to a court. When a crime is committed, there are many elements, aspects, and facts associated with the incident. Each of these features must be proven with evidence. This includes the defendant's motive, intention, and actions, as well as the results of the defendant's actions and his/her guilt.

Prima facie evidence is evidence that is provided to address each of the factors that must be proven prior to the initiation of a criminal case. If the prosecution can not provide the prima facie evidence that is necessary to prove that the defendant had the motive, intent, and opportunity to commit the offense in question, as well as evidence that effectively indicates the defendant's guilt, than it the case may be dismissed.

If the necessary prima facie evidence is present and provides compelling evidence that the defendant is responsible for the offense, than the criminal case will continue. It is only after the prima facie evidence has been presented and analyzed that the defense will have the opportunity to argue or explain the evidence that has been provided. Prima facie evidence is an essential aspect of any case.

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