What Are the 4 Defenses to a Crime?

Rohan Mathew

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Essentially, an excellent criminal lawyer is supposed to create reasonable doubt in your case. And the plan is to show the jury or judge that a harsh conviction is not justified. To do this, your attorney may use one of the four primary criminal defenses, including innocence, insanity, self-defense, and constitutional violations. But getting away with any of these defense strategies is not easy as it may sound. You need great representation from a reputable source like The Hogle Law Firm in Mesa.

Here are more details on each criminal defense strategy, complete with how they work and when to apply them. 

Innocence – When You Honestly Didn’t Do It

Wrongful accusations happen all the time, and innocent people end up suffering for crimes they didn’t do. This is the worst feeling in the world, as your reputation and professional life might take a hit after this ordeal. Your only hope is getting an experienced criminal lawyer on the case.

For this defense strategy, your attorney builds a strong case around your innocence. That includes finding credible witnesses, expert testimonies, and even finding a way of proving your alibi. Having several eyewitnesses is usually the easiest way to prove innocence, but video evidence works well too.

The idea is to have enough evidence to create reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. And that usually means having counter-evidence for everything presented by the prosecution.

Self Defense – Admitting You Did It, but to Protect Yourself or Others

The self-defense strategy works when there’s enough incriminating evidence to place you at the scene of the crime. So denying it is not an option. However, you can claim that you were the victim, and it just happened that you overpowered the offender. This strategy works well in cases involving battery, assault, and even murder.

Contrary to common belief, self-defense is incredibly hard to prove. You need concrete evidence of the incident, which is usually the last thing on your mind when facing a life-threatening situation. That’s why homeowners with guns install security cameras all over their property just in case they shoot an intruder. This footage will serve as evidence in court, proving it was self-defense. 

Still, it takes a lot to justify killing someone. For example, you can’t shoot an unarmed intruder and think you can get away with it. The intruder has to be armed, aggressive, and trying to cause harm to you or people around you. So, shooting someone at the back of their head does not count as self-defense, even if they are armed.

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Insanity – You Were Not in the Right State of Mind

Insanity is a particularly risky defense strategy that is incredibly hard to prove. That is especially true if the person is considered a normie but claim they had a mental lapse at the time of the crime.

To prove insanity, your attorney must prove without reasonable doubt that you didn’t know the difference between right and wrong during the incident. That includes bringing in a psychiatrist to support the claims and maybe throw in a couple of like-minded eyewitnesses. But, that does not guarantee a win.

Ideally, you need a very good lawyer to win a criminal case using the insanity defense strategy. It’s considered a desperate attempt to help you get away with a crime, and the courts don’t take that lightly. That means the chances of failing with this defense strategy are pretty high, and the consequences can be dire. So, it is important to discuss its details with your lawyer before proceeding to trial.

Constitutional Violations – When the Police Mess up

As a suspect in a criminal case, you’re entitled to some protection under federal law. The U.S constitution spells out how the police should treat defendants, the right circumstances of an arrest, and how the prosecution can collect evidence. Violating any of these stipulations can result in dismissed charges or reduced punishment for the defendant.

Usually, constitutional violations are the first thing an attorney explores before proceeding to other defense strategies. And the police know this. That’s why every criminal arrest must include reading the Miranda warning, a search warranty, and proper evidence handling.

Still, mistakes do happen, and someone decides to collect evidence without proper authorization. The attorney can explore this loophole to get the evidence withheld from the court or have the charges withdrawn. This strategy has helped many people get away with minor crimes or get softer punishments than they deserve.

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