Defending Yourself Against Criminal Charges

Posted on: 7 May 2015

If you have been accused of a crime, your first step is to find a defense attorney who can help you with the case. The attorney can look at the facts of your case and try to conjure a defense strategy that can help you avoid a guilty verdict, or at least reduce the punishment handed down to you.

The law requires that all charges against you are proven beyond reasonable doubt. This is a pretty lofty standard, giving your attorney room to come up with possible defenses to raise some doubt and help you avoid a conviction. Here is a look at common defenses to criminal charges that could help you in court.

The 'I didn't do it' defense

There are a couple of defenses available under this category. The presumption of innocence is a powerful defense that you can use even when charge with the most heinous crime. The defense allows you to not have to prove your innocence in court, and demands that the jury or judge assume you are innocent until the prosecution provides damning evidence to the contrary. You can choose to plead 'the fifth' and stay silent throughout your trial so as to avoid incriminating yourself.

The alibi defense is also very effective. By proving that you were somewhere else when the crime was committed, you prove that you couldn't have been the perpetrator. This defense requires that your attorney comes up with evidence showing your whereabouts at the time of the crime and find people who can corroborate your alibi.

The 'I did it, but shouldn't be held responsible' defense

The self-defense argument is very effective in cases such as battery, assault or murder, where you are accused of causing physical harm to someone else. Your defense can flip the story and prove that instead of being the aggressor, you were actually the victim merely trying to protect yourself. For this defense to work, your attorney must prove that you believed you were at risk of harm at that point, and felt you had to use of force to protect yourself.

The insanity defense is also available for individuals who committed a crime but were not aware they were doing something wrong. The defense attorney usually has to call up psychiatrists to testify that you were severely mentally ill, which led you to commit the alleged crime.

Your defense attorney can help you determine the best strategy that will successfully challenge the validity and sufficiency of your accuser's evidence. For more information, contact a company like Sam Douglas Young Attorney at Law.