No one ever wants to be charged with a crime. But should you ever find yourself in that situation, one of the first things to do is to get a criminal defense lawyer? Then, you need to know the type of defenses available to you.
As you may already know, there are different types of criminal defenses. And your attorney will help you navigate the several options to select those applicable to your case.
Criminal defenses are strategic arguments that try to challenge the validity of the prosecution’s evidence. The prosecution is the party charging you with a crime and attempting to prove the charges against you.
Below are some of the most common criminal defenses that attorneys used to fight charges. Here we go.
This is one of the simplest defenses to a criminal charge and it is raised when the defendant didn’t commit the crime. Before you can be convicted of any crime, the prosecution has to present evidence against you and prove it beyond any reasonable doubt.
Your lawyer will work with you to attempt to prove your innocence and use documents, testimonies, and other evidence to prove your innocence.
The word “alibi” means “in another place” and is one of the most common criminal defenses used by lawyers. This is used when you are in a place other than the crime scene at the time of the crime and as a result, could not have committed the crime.
There are several supportive pieces of evidence you and your lawyer can use to corroborate your alibi. Such evidence includes surveillance tapes, witnesses, credit card receipts, phone records, movie theater or sporting events, and so on.
This is usually used when an individual is caught in the possession of controlled substances such as illicit drugs. It is used to prove that the individual caught in the possession of the drug has no idea the drug is on their person.
It can be a sound defense if there is convincing evidence that the possession of the controlled substance is indeed ‘unwitting.’ Possession is unwitting if you don’t know the nature of the substance or have no idea it’s in your possession.
Other defenses that can be used for your case include illegal search and seizure or police abuse of power.
“There is so much at stake if you face allegations of a violent crime, drug charge, sex crime, white-collar financial crime, or DUI/DWI.
And there is no substitute for having an experienced criminal defense attorney standing by to represent your interests,” says Scott Thomas, an experienced drug crime defense attorney practicing in Orange County, CA.
Unfortunately, there are times when the police use overbearing or excessive measures to get a confession.
Such confessions are involuntary and often a result of illegal interrogation tactics such as depriving the suspect of food, water, sleep, beating the suspect, or making false promises of leniency in exchange for a confession.
All of these tactics have been shown to make innocent people admit to crimes they did not commit. If you suffer any of these tactics at the end of the police, inform your lawyer as soon as possible and they will come up with how to proceed with your defense.
Self-defense is used for cases involving assault, battery, and murder to prove that the defendant’s use of violence was justified and in response to violent actions from the victim.
There is another defense called “defense of others” if the defendant was defending someone else. This could be your spouse, child, friend, or even a stranger.
For self-defense or defense of others to be valid, the amount of force used by the defendant should just be enough to alleviate the danger posed by the victim. Excessive use of force by the defendant can destroy the validity of your defense.
Constitutional violations are important defenses that could result in the dismissal of a case against you if you can prove them.
They include illegal search and seizure of your car, home, clothing, or person. The police need to obtain a warrant for any search and seizure operations and doing so without a warrant can’t help your defense a lot.
Even the failure to Mirandize you (read you your Miranda rights) is a constitutional violation. Knowing your constitutional rights is important to know when they are violated.
Mistake of Fact
Sometimes, the defendant may act under an honest and reasonable mistake of fact. Take for example a defendant that is charged with stealing a car or lawnmower but believed his family member or neighbor wanted to give him the car or lawnmower.
The defendant isn’t guilty in the case and the attorney has to prove the act was an honest mistake.