Criminal Law 101: The Most Common Defenses Against Criminal Charges

by 48 Minutes | Monday, Jan 29, 2018 | 379 views

Person in jailFor the court to convict you of a crime, the prosecution should first prove that you’re indeed guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that you and your lawyer must establish an airtight criminal defense. Although each criminal case is different, below are some of the most common defenses that defendants use to avoid getting convicted.

Coercion and Duress – This defense states that you were forced or coerced into committing the crime since someone threatened you with unlawful force if you don’t do it. The unlawful force element doesn’t necessarily have to occur, as even the mere threat of it could be sufficient to prove that coercion occurred.

The Infamous Defense of Insanity – For you to use the insanity defense, there should be an actual defect or mental disorder during the time you committed the crime. Matthew Jube, Attorney at Law and other top criminal defense lawyers in Utah County explain that you should provide a convincing and strong evidence, which made you believe that what you were doing wasn’t illegal and wrong.

Withdrawal and Abandonment – Also known as renunciation, this defense says that you agreed to be an accomplice or were going to commit a particular crime but you decided against it. For this defense to work, you need to show proof that you abandoned or withdrew your involvement in the crime.

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Self Defense – You knowingly committed a crime, but you did it to defend yourself, your property, or another individual.

Under the Influence – While arguing that you were under the influence wouldn’t necessarily work for the majority of crimes, it could be used for negating an element or two of a crime you committed.

Consent – You acknowledge that you committed the crime or an element of a crime, but you did so because you had the consent of the victim.

The Statute of Limitations – The criminal charges against you could be dropped if the plaintiff filed the lawsuit against you past the statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that a plaintiff could file a case against a defendant.

The defense you decide to use should be dependent on the particular crime you’re charged with as well as the evidence that you could present. Do note that courts could and would interpret these defenses in many different ways. If you’ve been charged with a crime or are being investigated, get an experienced defense lawyer to evaluate your case and help you build a defense strategy.

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