Five Common Criminal Defenses in Law

If you’re facing a criminal charge, you won’t get convicted until the prosecution has proven your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants’ rights are protected by the law by shifting the burden of proof to the prosecutor, rather than making the defendant prove their innocence.  Regardless of whether or not you committed the criminal offense, it is best to be guided by experienced criminal attorneys from reputable law firms in order to get the best possible outcome. Read on below to learn about some of the common defenses raised in a criminal trial.

If you didn’t commit the allegation

If you were falsely accused of criminal charges which you didn’t commit, you can prepare either of these defenses to support the claim that you didn’t do the crime you were charged for.

  • Presumption of Innocence

Anyone who’s been accused of a crime is legally presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise. This means you don’t need to prove your innocence, and that it falls on the prosecution to convince the jury that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, you can choose to remain silent, or your criminal attorney present witnesses that counteract the opposition’s case.

  • Presenting an Alibi

Another defense that you can do if you weren’t responsible for the alleged offense is to provide an alibi proving that you weren’t at the scene of the crime, or that you didn’t do it. For this kind of criminal defense, you and your defense lawyer will need to present witness statements or provide evidence that supports your alibi.

If you’re being charged with a crime you didn’t do, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer and start working on your defense right away.

If you did commit the allegation

Criminal DefenseEven if the allegations were true, you can still discuss a defense strategy with your defense attorney to get an acquittal for your criminal case, instead of a criminal conviction. 

  • Self-defense

Self-defense is one of the most common assertions that can be used in criminal court for defending your case. There are three main considerations for this defense:

  • Who was the aggressor in this situation?
  • Was your use of violence or force justified given the circumstances?
  • Was the amount of force used justified given the circumstances?

The justification for this defense is that you should be allowed to protect yourself from imminent danger. You don’t have to wait until you’re harmed before you take action to prevent it, which is why self-defense can be used as a criminal defense for trial.  Getting a lawyer well-versed in criminal defense law is one of the best decisions you can make. A good criminal lawyer will fight for you to get you a not guilty verdict or have criminal cases against your dismissed. 

  • Under the Influence

In some cases, the criminal justice system recognizes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol as a criminal defense. The underlying principle behind this is that being intoxicated or on drugs can affect and impair your mental functioning to the point where you cannot be held accountable for your actions.

However, intentionally getting drunk typically won’t excuse criminal behaviors. Criminal laws recognize your knowledge of the consequences of drinking alcohol or taking drugs, so it shouldn’t excuse criminal conduct for that reason alone. Speak with criminal defense lawyers to know whether you can use this defense if you have been charged with a crime.

  • Insanity Defense

You can also plead not guilty and use the insanity defense since sentencing someone who isn’t fully capable of controlling their actions or deciding what is right or wrong would not be justifiable. That’s why insanity is a complicated topic when you’re facing criminal charges.

For one, it’s one of the rare exceptions to the rule that it’s the prosecution’s responsibility to prove their case. If you want to plead not guilty because of insanity, the defense is responsible for proving this claim, which often proves to be a difficult task. There are also varying definitions for insanity and several ways to determine whether someone is to be considered insane both from a mental health perspective and under the legal system.

On the other hand, while defendants who get acquitted won’t have to face punishment such as imprisonment, they likely will be confined to a mental facility. This often lasts longer than what they’d be sentenced for if they got a criminal conviction.

If you want to use the insanity defense, make sure to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to ensure that this is the right step to take for your case.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with any crime, whether it’s for speeding or something more serious such as drunk driving or reckless driving, it’s important to ensure that you’re prepared to face these charges. Our trustworthy criminal defense attorneys can provide you with legal representation and assistance to help you know what steps to take. Call us today at The Fisher Law Firm, PC, and schedule a free legal strategy planning session today!