When it comes to forming a defense, you probably have an idea of what you think you can do. Before you decide on a defensive strategy, it’s a good idea to learn about all the different types that exist.
There are dozens of strategies your attorney can implement, but the following three are common in criminal cases. These may not work for your case, or they could be the right fit.
Pleading innocence is a good idea in most cases, especially if there is no hard evidence or if you are, in fact, innocent. In the United States, you’re presumed innocent until proven guilty. Your defense may work best if you don’t say anything, since the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you participated in a crime. Even better, provide an alibi, a witness or evidence that shows you couldn’t have been involved in the crime.
2. Admit you did it…for a cause
If you did commit a crime but did so to protect yourself or a loved one, you can claim self-defense. This defense works because you wouldn’t have otherwise committed a crime if you weren’t in danger. To make this defense stick, you’ll have to show that you took reasonable steps to try to avoid the situation as well as that you reacted in a reasonable way. For example, if someone threatened to hit you, shooting him or her would not seem reasonable. If, on the other hand, someone aimed a gun at you, shooting him or her would seem reasonable.
Have you ever felt like someone was setting you up to fall? In that case, you might be able to show that you committed a crime because of entrapment. Entrapment is when an official, like a police officer, encourages or induces you to commit a crime before arresting you.
These three defenses help protect you against unfair penalties. The right defense makes a difference in any criminal case.