Defending against A Criminal Charge

Defending against A Criminal Charge


Each case is different, but here are some of the most common defenses to a criminal charge.

In order to convict him of a criminal charge, the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a standard fairly high, and during any trial the defendant may present a defense in order to raise a reasonable doubt. Most of the defenses integrates one of two categories: (1) I did not do it or (2) What I did, but it should not be held responsible.

[alert-note]If you are charged for a crime, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately to protect and analyze their rights.[/alert-note]

1. I Did Not Do It

The defense more basic to any charge of a criminal nature is simply to show that you did not.

Innocent until proven otherwise

One of the distinctive features of the american legal system is the presumption that all are innocent until proven otherwise. This is not just an ideal, it is a legal presumption, which means that the judge and jury must assume you are innocent until proven otherwise. It is for this reason that a defendant can “plead the fifth amendment”, to remain silent and not offer any evidence to support your declaration of innocence and yet coming out on top. It is the job of the prosecution to prove that a defendant is guilty, not the job of the defendant to prove that he is innocent. What, then, have to demonstrate to a prosecutor?

Beyond a reasonable doubt

The prosecutor must show the judge or jury that there is no reasonable doubt of his guilt. In the event that it can prove a reasonable doubt, any at all, the prosecutor has failed, and you must be declared innocent. Because this standard is so high, most defendants that focuses on developing a reasonable doubt to the allegations of the prosecution.

I have an alibi

One of the main ways in which the defendants established that they did not do so is by proving that they could not have done it. A defense of alibi consists of evidence that was in another place, often with another person, and that, therefore, could not have been the perpetrator of the crime. To prove to a judge or jury is likely that you are not present at the scene of the crime, will give rise to a reasonable doubt of his guilt.

2. What I Did, But It Should Not Be Held Responsible

Many defendants admit that they committed the act, but declared that for one reason or another should not be held responsible. Here are some examples of this type of defense:


It is a common defense when someone is accused of causing some type of physical violence (assault, battery, etc). The defendant flips the story, and shows that instead of being the aggressor, was actually the victim and was acting to protect yourself from damage.

The self-defense is an old defense that exists in most legal systems, and is based on the belief that people have the right to defend yourself from a physical injury. To prove this defense can be tricky, because a defendant will generally have to prove that self-defense was needed, that the belief of a possible physical harm was reasonable and that the response was reasonable. For example, if you shoot an attacker in response to the threat of hitting him, it is almost certain that this is an irrational answer.

Defense by dementia

If well-made dramas on television are fascinating, the accused in the real life rarely allege insanity as a defense. Judges and juries are very skeptical of these statements, and due to the abstract nature of this defense, it can be very difficult to prove.

The theory behind a defence of insanity is the notion that in almost all criminal laws there is an element of “mental” or “intent.” Often, the mental state required is that you must have had the intent to commit the criminal act. If a defendant does not possess the understanding of what you are doing because of a mental illness, then you may not have the mental state that the criminal charge requires. From a political point of view, we also tend to think that it would be more appropriate to send to someone who truly is insane to a psychiatric facility, not prison. Therefore, even if the defendant wins in a defence by dementia, you will be sent to a psychiatric institution, not going to leave you in freedom.

Then, how do you define ” the courts “dementia”? The more popular definition is the test of McNaughten that defines insanity as “the inability to distinguish between good and evil.” To succeed on a defense of insanity, the defendant will have the testimony of a psychiatrist and will be subjected to extensive testing and psychiatric that can be painful and humiliating.

Defense of being under the influence of substances

In connection with the defense of the dementia, some defendants defend themselves by claiming that they were under the influence of drugs and that could not have had the mental state necessary to commit the crime. In other words, they were too drugged to know what they were doing. Only a few states allow this defense, and even then, it is only a partial defense. In the best of cases, will reduce the crime they are convicted to a misdemeanor.

Defense by ambush

The defence by ambush is appropriate when a government official induces him to commit a crime. The most common examples of this are the raids against prostitution or the sale of drugs. The theory is that the government should not allow it to incite to commit a crime and then convict him for it.

This defense will not succeed if the judge or the jury to believe that in any way was predisposed to commit the crime. So, even if an undercover officer offered to sell you illegal drugs, it is likely that a defense by ambush does not take effect if you have a history of drug abuse. (Note: the links in this article contain information in English.)

The process of the criminal law can be very difficult with a lot of stress. If charged for a crime, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately to protect and analyze their rights.

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