When it comes to defending yourself against a criminal charge, it is no easy matter. You must understand the elements of the crime that you have been charged with and see what defenses you may have against the various elements. You do not need to defend against all of the elements, as it only takes a reasonable doubt by the jury for one of them. Please keep in mind that defending yourself is not the best option and that you should consult with a reputable attorney about your case. Every case is different, but here are a few of the most common defenses to a criminal charge.
The most basic defense to any criminal charge is to gather evidence to prove that you didn’t do it. When you are defending yourself against a criminal charge, this is probably the easiest defense, because the burden is on the prosecutor to prove each of the elements of the crime. The defendant can just sit back and let the prosecutor do all of the work, but if the defendant has something that proves that they could not have committed the crime, now is the time to speak up.
One of the primary ways defendants prove that the defendant didn’t do it is to demonstrate that they couldn’t have done it. An alibi defense is evidence that you were somewhere else, often with someone else, and thus couldn’t have been the perpetrator. By demonstrating to a judge or jury that it is likely that you weren’t present at the crime scene, you are creating a reasonable doubt about your guilt.
I Did It, But Shouldn’t Be Held Responsible
You may have actually committed the act for which you are being charged, but you have some mitigating reason or circumstances that excuse your actions. When defending yourself against a criminal charge in this situation, the burden will be on you to prove why your actions should be excused. You will not be able to sit and wait for the prosecutor to prove their case; you will have to provide evidence in your defense. Here are a few examples of these defenses for which a criminal act may be excused:
- Self-Defense- The right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.
- Insanity Defense- This asserts that a criminal defendant shouldn’t be found guilty due to their insanity, but insanity in this context refers to a very specific dysfunction that will go through rigorous testing by the court.
- Entrapment Defense- Entrapment is known as the action of tricking someone into committing a crime in order to secure their prosecution. An affirmative defense is raised during criminal case to excuse an otherwise unlawful act.
Defending yourself against a criminal charge has many facets. No individual can understand the full ramifications of every charge and every defense in a criminal case without the assistance of a good criminal defense attorney. So if you’re being investigated or charged with a crime, you’d be wise to seek out a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Attorney Russell Spatz has over four decades of experience in this matter and can investigate your case, answer any questions you may have, and file the motions on your behalf.
To meet with Attorney Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200