Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Presumption of Fact Definition:

A conclusion of fact constructed logically from other proven facts.

Related Terms: Rebuttable Presumption, Deem

A logical inference made from established facts and available in civil or criminal proceedings notwithstanding that the two following citations are extracted from the criminal law.

Archbold's Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice, 28th ed., p. 412, stated:

"Presumptions of fact are usually divided into three classes:

  • violent presumptions where the facts and circumstances proved necessarily attend the fact presumed;
  • probable presumptions, where the facts and circumstances proved usually attend the fact presumed; and
  • light or rash presumptions, which have no weight or validity at all."

Further, in R. v. Stoddart, 2 Criminal Appeal Reports 217 (England):

"Presumptions of fact which afford evidence of guilt vary in degree.... (F)acts and circumstances may raise a presumption so strong that guilt necessarily follows,  or they may raise a presumption upon which the jury might be directed that if satisfied by the evidence that the facts alleged by the prosecution are established and no explanation is offered, they, in some cases, ought to find a verdict of guilty, or they may be of so little weight that the jury ought to be told that they raise no presumption which calls for an answer from the defendant."


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