5 Types of Criminal Defenses and Approaches You Should Know

5 Types of Criminal Defenses and Approaches You Should Know

The American justice system operates on one of the most salient principles: you are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, it is upon the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Understanding some common types of defense strategies that criminal defense attorneys utilize can be useful if you ever find yourself in court.

Here are some types of criminal defenses to remember as you go through the prosecutor’s arguments:

1. Challenge the Prosecution’s Case

The best defense is the one that challenges the prosecutor’s case, as it is practically impossible for any piece of evidence to be completely devoid of a blind spot. Your lawyer will determine which part of the legislature’s argument has the most mistakes and may employ the following strategies:

  1. Lack of Evidence: The prosecution might not have enough evidence to prove your guilt. In such situations, your lawyer can note issues where evidence is lacking and potentially exclude them if they are not substantive.
  2. Improperly Obtained Evidence: Part of potentially excluding some pieces of evidence is through constitutional rights and wrongdoings because something obtained illegally cannot be used in court. The other pieces will potentially look incomplete without the former and probably won’t hold up.
  3. The Credibility of Witnesses: Finally, court witnesses used to testify can be shown to be weak. These individuals can be demonstrated to lack consistency in certain ways, and it is better to understand their psychology. Also, when the crime was committed, the facts will not be limited to the witness but will be spread over their psychology.

2. Alibi Defense

An alibi defense means that you have to be declared innocent, for you’re free from getting blamed for a crime you could not have performed. This type of defense would require documents and evidence that you were in another country, city, or even hemisphere when the crime happened, which is why it is so strong.

The credibility of your alibi witnesses is crucial for your freedom or conviction. Your friends or family may be less credible than a disinterested third party who saw you enter the store down the street at the time the incident happened.

3. Self-Defense or Defense of Others

OIt depends on whether the force used to stop a crime or violent act is necessary. The specific details of this defense also vary by jurisdiction, but there are some universal truths such as the following:

  1. Reasonableness of Force: The force must be reasonable. This means that if the intruder does not have a weapon or seemed highly likely to cause harm to you or others, you cannot use a firearm. To put it in a slightly different way, the force used to defend the premises in question has to be reasonably appropriate. If it could be argued that you were not at risk when you created the risk, it might void the self-defense claim.
  2. The Threat Must be Imminent: The danger has to be immediate and not in the future.
  3. Duty to Retreat: 3.In some states, you have a lawful duty to retreat to a safe area if you can do so before using force.

4. Plea Bargain

A plea bargain, from arrest to transportation to the state, could be a lifesaver for you. Therefore, it is suggested that you should always discuss this with your attorney before making a decision. The plea bargain gets you out of this case by admitting guilt regardless of whether you were responsible and doing certain things. The potential benefits include a much lighter sentence, probation, or not having certain other allegations filed. Ways to define possible actions and outcomes are:

  1. Strength of Your Case: A weak case from the prosecution may indicate that you may be able to dismiss the charges and win at a trial. However, if the case is substantial, a plea bargain such as the one under discussion may be ideal. If necessary, this can lead to some type of settlement.
  2. Potential Outcomes: Further punishments or penalties can be better than spending months in jail if the plea bargain is accepted. Whether or not it is worth it will depend on potential costs. This includes how much jail time you face, the penalties, and whether you will be able to pursue gainful employment or stay in the country long term.

5. Mental State Defenses

This type of defense implies that you lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of your actions or to form criminal intent at the time the crime was committed. This defense has two main categories:

  1. Insanity: This is a complex legal concept with specific criteria that differ across jurisdictions. It generally refers to a severe mental illness that you suffered at the time of committing the crime, which rendered you unable to understand that your actions were unlawful. For this type of defense, mental health evaluations and expert testimonies are critical.
  2. Diminished Capacity: 2.This defense states that you indeed suffered a mental condition at the time of a crime, but it did not rise to the level of insanity, and its symptoms only disabled you from forming a specific intent for the crime. Depending on the situation, it may lead to a lesser charge or a more lenient sentence.

If you need help with criminal defense cases and are looking for a highly skilled and experienced attorney, book a free, no-obligation consultation with DCD Law today! Get the help you need in your legal battles and ensure that you get the most out of your situation using these types of criminal defenses.