If you’ve been charged with a crime, this means prosecutors pursuing your case thoroughly believe that you are guilty and that they have the evidence needed to make a judge or jury think the same. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you should always fight a criminal charge.
This can be difficult by yourself, which is why it’s so important to obtain the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney during times like these. You and your attorney must understand each element of the crime you have been charged with in order to see what defense will work best.
It’s important to know that your attorney does not have to defend against each element. Instead, it usually only takes a reasonable doubt by the jury on one particular element or detail of your case.
In order to convict you of a crime, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. However, this is often a hefty cause. It takes very explicit evidence to directly show a defendant’s guilt.
An attorney who is helping you fight a charge may use two different types of defenses on your behalf:
- You didn’t do it; or
- You shouldn’t be held responsible
You Didn’t Do It
When fighting your charge, your attorney may use the defense that you literally did not do the crime. But, more than just stating you did not do it, they must also prove it. To do this, they only have to cast doubt on an element or piece of evidence set forth by the prosecution.
Here are a few things to consider when it comes to using this type of defense:
- Innocent until proven guilty. It’s the prosecutor’s job to prove the defendant is guilty, not the defendant’s job to prove they are innocent.
- Beyond a reasonable doubt. The standards for a “guilty” verdict are high, and the evidence set forth by the prosecutor must directly show you are guilty.
- You have an alibi. An alibi shows that you were somewhere else at the time and place of the crime, which is one of the main ways that a “not guilty” verdict may be achieved.
You Shouldn’t Be Held Responsible
On the other hand, you may have actually committed the act you are being charged with. However, there are some cases in which a person may not be held accountable for these actions in criminal court.
Some defenses for which a criminal act may be excused include:
- Self-defense. If someone is charged with a physical form of violence (assault, battery, or murder), it may be proven that he or she was not the aggressor but acted in self-defense.
- You didn’t understand the law. Someone charged with tax fraud, for instance, may have negligently filed their taxes by making an honest mistake.
- Entrapment. This defense may be used if an official (usually undercover), pushes you into committing a crime; this is common with prostitution rings or drug sales.
Get Hard-Hitting Legal Defense in Your Corner
When it comes to your future and freedom, you don’t want to be in the wrong hands. Our team of seasoned criminal defense attorneys is made up of former prosecutors. This means our attorneys have unique insight into strategies used by prosecutors and will be able to provide you with a hard-hitting and well-rounded defense to you walk away with the best possible outcome.
Contact Foley Griffin at (888) 966-8480 to schedule your free and confidential consultation with our Nassau County criminal defense attorneys.