December 18

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Common Defenses Used in a Criminal Defense Case

By Will Robins

December 18, 2018


Texas Criminal Defense

Innocent until proven guilty is supposed to be the anchor of the U.S. criminal justice system. The prosecutor carries what is supposed to be the heavy burden of proving a criminal defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard there is in the U.S. legal system. However, despite this, if you have been charged with a crime, it can be far too easy to give up hope. It is a difficult and lonely position to be in. You may already feel judged, condemned even. Know that you can still fight your criminal charge. There is no guarantee that a criminal charge will result in a criminal conviction. Mounting a solid criminal defense is available in most criminal cases.

Common Defenses Used in a Criminal Defense Case

First and foremost, it is important to reinforce a point that was already made. The prosecutor has the burden of proving a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the state carries the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. One of the most commonly employed criminal defense strategies is to undermine the state’s case, to cast doubt on whether or not they have carried this heavy burden of proof. This can be accomplished through poking holes in the prosecution’s case. A different, viable option for who may have committed the crime may be presented. Proof of an alibi can also work to undermine the state’s case. An alibi states that the defendant could not have committed a crime because he or she was in a place other than the location of the crime at the time the crime was committed.

Other criminal defenses commonly presented include those that acknowledge that the criminal act did occur, but that the criminal defendant was justified in his or her actions. These defenses are referred to as “affirmative defenses.” Two of the most common affirmative defenses to a crime is self- defense as well as defense of others. These are generally employed in cases of violence such as when an assault or battery charge is involved. Duress is another affirmative defense. With the defense of duress, the defendant admits that he or she committed the criminal act, but the act was only committed because he or she was forced into it by another person. Another affirmative defense is necessity. With a necessity defense, the defendant asserts that the criminal act was only committed in order to prevent a larger, more significant harm from occurring. 

In addition to affirmative defenses, there are also those defenses to crimes that assert no criminal act was actually committed. This category of criminal defenses assert that, while it may appear that a crime might have been committed, no criminal act was really committed. A commonly used criminal defense of this nature is consent. Consent is commonly used in rape and sexual assault cases. It asserts that no rape actually occurred because there was consent (i.e. the sexual act was consensual). There is also the defense of abandonment or withdrawal. With this criminal defense, the defendant asserts that, while he or she may have initially intended to commit a crime or participate in a crime, he or she later had a change of mind and did not actually end up participating in the crime.

Sometimes, a criminal defendant will raise an entrapment defense. While this defense is difficult to prove, it can successfully prevent a defendant from being handed down a guilty verdict. Entrapment is said to occur when the government, or a government agent, induces an individual to commit a crime. Put another way, entrapment happens if a crime only occurs because of government inducement. This defense essentially asserts that, without the government influence, no crime would have been committed and, therefore, the defendant should not be held accountable for the criminal act.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys

Facing a criminal charge does not make you a criminal. A criminal charge is not a conviction and there are many options to prevent a criminal charge from turning into a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction can have serious and lasting consequences for your personal and professional life. You may face jail time and substantial fines, community service, probation, and restrictions on your civil liberties. Now is the time to fight for your life and your freedom. Do not give up hope. Contact a dedicated criminal defense attorney that will help you mount the strongest possible defense.

Will Robins

About the author

Husband and Father, Will focuses on family first under God. If you are searching for an engaged audience, the kind we all dream of, then you have found the right website. Will uses a personality with amazing salesmanship in his teaching. He focuses on how successful websites have grown their viewers and engagement.

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