“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”

On February 7, 2012, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the presence of a damaged EBT card, by itself, is insufficient to prove the card’s owner was present at the scene of a burglary. LaFountain & Wollman, P.C. believes this decision should serve as a reminder to all that criminal convictions require proof, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as to all elements of a charged crime. Although civil lawsuits and probation violation hearings only require a lower standard of proof, anything short of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is insufficient to sustain a criminal conviction.