What Are Possible Defenses To A Criminal Accusation?
Not everyone who is charged with a crime is guilty. Unfortunately, you will still be faced with the daunting experience of having to go through the criminal justice system and will need a skilled attorney who is able to craft a defense on your behalf to ensure you have the best possible chance of achieving a successful outcome. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney will be able to tailor a defense that suits your specific needs. However, while the specifics of your defense will be as unique as your particular situation, the heart of any good defense is based on one or more defense approaches that frequently come into play.
At Jansen & Davis, P.A., our Tallassee criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in a vast range of defenses to criminal charges and will work with you to customize a defense that will help you secure a favorable resolution.
Defenses Available To Criminal Charges
More often than not, a defendant will claim that he or she did not commit the crime. Of course, simply saying that you did not commit the crime is not enough. In such cases, some of these defenses might be used:
- Presumption of innocence: You have probably heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” at least once in your life. Everyone who is accused of a crime is legally presumed innocent until the point of conviction, regardless of whether they accept a plea deal or are convicted through a trial. The presumption of innocence means the prosecution team is obligated to convince a jury of one’s peers that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is actually a much higher burden than some realize because it means a jury cannot simply think the defendant might be guilty in order to convict him or her. As such, this defense focuses on highlighting the fact that the prosecution did not adequately meet their burden of proof.
- An alibi: Evidence that can prove a defendant was elsewhere when the crime he or she is charged with occurred is one of the strongest forms of defense. For example, if you were accused of a burglary crime that occurred at midnight on April 2, but you have an alibi from a friend stating that you were at a late-night movie premiere from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. along with ticket stubs and a credit card statement to back it up, it would make it much more difficult for the prosecution to prove you committed the crime.
- Self-defense: Even if a defendant committed the act he or she is being accused of, it might not have been a criminal act. Self-defense is often asserted in crimes of violence, including assault, battery, and murder, when a defendant was put in a position where he or she needed to fight off another individual’s threatening or violent actions to prevent serious harm or death. When this defense is used, there are a few critical elements that must be addressed. Who was the aggressor and did the defendant believe self-defense was necessary? Were the defendant’s actions reasonable? This approach is based on the belief that everyone should be allowed to protect themselves.
- Police misconduct: Many law enforcement officials are ethical and uphold the law, but there are also some who engage in dishonest and dishonorable behavior by manufacturing evidence or destroying evidence, giving false testimony, coercing suspects or witnesses, and other acts that could potentially destroy a person’s life. In some cases, it might not be readily apparent to a jury that police misconduct played a role in a defendant’s current situation, which is why this will require the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. The truth is that even something that might seem straightforward can be complex.
- Entrapment: If an individual solicited an undercover cop for sex, this would likely not be considered entrapment since the undercover cop did not entice the individual to commit the crime. Remember, law enforcement officers are able to legally provide opportunities for individuals to commit crimes without it being considered entrapment. However, if an undercover cop offered an individual sex in exchange for money, inducing him or her to commit the crime, this could be considered entrapment since the individual might not have otherwise committed the crime.
Award-Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys in Tallahassee
If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you act quickly to ensure you have the best possible chance of protecting your future and freedom. At Jansen & Davis, P.A., our Tallahassee criminal defense team will guide and defend you throughout the entire process. With over 70 years of experience on our side, you can be confident in our ability to effectively represent you and obtain a favorable resolution.