What is Presumption?

Presumptions in criminal cases are legal assumptions made about a certain fact or set of facts. They can either be irrebuttable, meaning they cannot be contradicted by any evidence or argument, or rebuttable, which can be contradicted by evidence or argument.

Irrebuttable presumptions are absolute and cannot be questioned. For example, in some states, anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher is automatically presumed to be driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. This presumption is unassailable and cannot be challenged by any evidence.

In contrast, rebuttable presumptions can be contested with evidence. For instance, the prosecution may present evidence that the defendant was present at the crime scene, which creates a presumption that the defendant was involved in the crime.

The defense may offer evidence that contradicts this presumption, such as an alibi or witness testimony that places the defendant in a different location at the time of the crime.

Presumptions can be a powerful tool in criminal cases, as they can make it easier for one side to prove its case, or they can provide a starting point for the parties to build their arguments.

However, it is important to note that presumptions are not conclusive and can be overcome by sufficient evidence.