Every individual facing criminal charges in the United States benefits from the fact that he or she is "innocent until proven guilty." In this respect, simply being accused of a crime is never enough for the court to see you as having committed the crime. You will always walk into the courtroom innocent and -- if your defense goes the right way -- you will also walk away innocent.
It should be noted that sometimes the evidence against a criminal defendant is so strong that there's nothing one can do to prevent a conviction. In these cases, a plea bargain might be the best option for the defendant to try and better his or her legal situation. However, in some instances, the defendant can refute the charges with an "I didn't do it" defense.
Here are three aspects of an "I didn't do it" defense that might come into play with such a strategy:
1) Innocent until proven guilty
The notion of innocent until proven guilty puts the burden of proof on the prosecution. Conceivably, a defendant could walk into court and not say a word in his or her defense. If the prosecution cannot show the proof of guilt, then he or she cannot be convicted.
2) Beyond a reasonable doubt
The notion of "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" relates to the high standard of proof that the prosecution needs to meet in order to convict the defendant. If there is a reasonable doubt regarding whether the defendant committed the crime, then he or she will remain innocent and cannot be convicted. For this reason, defendants often expend considerable energy trying to cast doubt on the prosecution's version of the facts.
3) The alibi
The alibi is evidence that could serve to prove the innocence of the defendant. Although an alibi is not necessary for a successful defense, evidence of an irrefutable alibi would certainly be helpful to any defendant.
If you've been accused of a crime in Roanoke, it's time to investigate the most suitable defense strategies that could apply to your case. A familiarity with Virginia criminal law will help you determine your best next steps.