What are Common Defenses to Criminal Allegations?November 26, 2013
Being accused of a crime can be a confusing and unsettling experience. The potential consequences of a criminal case can include probation, fines, community service, and the loss of your freedoms. As a result, anyone facing allegations of criminal misconduct should be certain to retain the services of an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
A lawyer may be able to help have the consequences you face reduced, and in some cases may be able to have the case entirely dropped. While the specific defenses used will depend largely on the specific circumstances of your case, here are some of the more common ways lawyers clients face criminal allegations:
- Self-Defense – This defense may be raised when a person is accused of a crime of violence such as assault or homicide. When raised, the defendant admits the he or she committed the violent act, but claims that it was justified due a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.
- Alibi – From the Latin for “somewhere else,” using an alibi defense involves claiming that the defendant was in another place making it impossible for him or her to commit the crime at issue.
- Mental Illness – A basic precept of criminal law is that in order to be held criminally liable, the defendant must have intended to commit the criminal act and also understand the nature of the act committed. When attorneys raise an insanity defense, the argue that the defendant did not know or did understand what he or she was doing, therefore making criminal sanctions inappropriate.
- Reasonable Doubt – Under our criminal justice system, the state must establish a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest burden of proof. Absent the availability of a specific defense, an attorney will attempt to introduce doubt about the defendant’s guilt. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including challenging the veracity of evidence or impeaching the prosecution’s witnesses.
Contact a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation
An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to identify and present any possible defenses for your specific charges and how to poke holes in the prosecution’s case to create a reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind. If you have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you contact criminal defense attorney Brian Zeiger at The Zeiger Firm to begin working on your case today.