N.J.S.A. 2C:1-13 – Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

2C:1-13 Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; Affirmative Defenses; Burden of Proving Fact When Not an Element of an Offense

a. No person may be convicted of an offense unless each element of such offense is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In the absence of such proof, the innocence of the defendant is assumed.

b. Subsection a. of this section does not:

(1) Require the disproof of an affirmative defense unless and until there is evidence supporting such defense; or

(2) Apply to any defense which the code or another statute requires the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence or such other standard as specified in this code.

c. A defense is affirmative, within the meaning of subsection b.(1) of this section, when:

(1) It arises under a section of the code which so provides; or

(2) It relates to an offense defined by a statute other than the code and such statute so provides; or

d. When the application of the code depends upon the finding of a fact which is not an element of an offense, unless the code otherwise provides:

(1) The burden of proving the fact is on the prosecution or defendant, depending on whose interest or contention will be furthered if the finding should be made; and

(2) The fact must be proved to the satisfaction of the court or jury, as the case may be.

e. When the code or other statute defining an offense establishes a presumption with respect to any fact which is an element of an offense, it has the meaning accorded it by the law of evidence.

f. In any civil action commenced pursuant to any provision of this code the burden of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:1-13, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

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