In this paper a theoretical definition that helps to explain how the logical structure of legal presumptions is constructed by applying the Carneades model of argumentation developed in artificial intelligence. Using this model, it is shown how presumptions work as devices used in evidentiary reasoning in law in the event of a lack of evidence to assist a chain of reasoning to move forward to prove or disprove a claim. It is shown how presumptions work as practical devices that may be useful in cases in which there is insufficient evidence to prove the claim to an appropriate standard of proof.