Facing criminal charges is a scary situation but it does not have to be the end of your life. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you may have a number of plausible defense arguments which may get you through this ordeal.
Here are four of the most common criminal defenses used by lawyers for clients facing charges of everything from DUI to assault.
1. The Prosecution Does Not Have the Facts to Prove the Case
Your criminal attorney will tell you right away that you do not have to say or do anything. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the crime.
A common way to win a criminal case is to show that the prosecution has not met its burden. Your lawyer can argue that the state has not established the critical facts of the case. For example, he may argue that you are not guilty because there is no proof of your blood alcohol levels in a DUI charge, or no medical evidence of injury in an assault case.
2. The Prosecution Cannot Prove the Elements of the Crime
Each crime has legal requirements that the district attorney must meet to obtain a conviction. For example, to bring a rape charge the state must have evidence of non-consensual sexual penetration. If the complainant says she consented to sex, the prosecution does not have the basic components of a rape charge.
Until very recently, the legal definition of rape did not include spouses. So if your wife accused you of rape, your lawyer could argue that that the actions in question could not meet the explicit legal definition of the crime and that the case should be dismissed.
3. The Defendant Had a Legal Excuse for His Behavior
Another common strategy for defending against criminal charges is to establish that the alleged perpetrator had a legal excuse for acting the way she did. For example, if she is charged with punching someone but she was actually defending herself against a reasonable likelihood of being hurt, she would have had a justifiable excuse.
Another commonly used defense is that the accused did not have the mental capacity to commit the crime. For example, attempted murder requires that the accused have the motive to kill someone.
If the person is legally insane, they are incapable to having the legal motive necessary for this charge. Insanity and lack of mental capacity are often used as defenses to serious allegations.
4. The Police Botched the Case
Many courts will throw out a case due to ineptitude on the part of investigators or the police.
If a cop makes an arrest and fails to give Miranda warnings prior to taking a statement, a judge can throw out that statement and dismiss the entire case for lack of evidence.
If evidence was not collected in a timely way or the chain of custody of that evidence is imperfect, a criminal lawyer can use those reasons to dispute the charges.
Criminal Defenses: Make the Prosecution Prove Their Case
If you are facing criminal charges, your criminal lawyer will make sure that the state follows all of the rules while pursuing prosecution. In order to maintain the integrity of the justice system, the D.A. has a very high burden to prove the existence of a crime without a reasonable excuse.Your lawyer has many possible criminal defenses at his or her disposal to make sure that your legal rights are not infringed.
If the state cannot make its case, you may be able to avoid charges and penalties.
Make sure you speak to a licensed attorney if you are arrested on suspicion of a crime.