In order to be prosecuted for a criminal offense, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty. You will of course be presented with the opportunity to defend yourself. It is important that you’re reaching out to an attorney if you’re to have the best outcome for your criminal charge. There are common defenses to a criminal case that you could find yourself exploring and we’re going to highlight some of them.
Didn’t Do It
In most cases, the defendant will go with the option of not admitting guilt. The argument could be someone committed the crime or it didn’t happen in the first place. The defense attorney that takes such a position will argue that the witness account of events is inaccurate or not true at all. If you find yourself in such a predicament, it is important that you’re getting a Colorado criminal defense attorney to help in arguing your case.
How Presumption Innocence Comes In: If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’re presumed innocent until proved otherwise. This could come in the form of a trial or plea. It will be up to the prosecutor to convince the judge that you’re guilty of the crime that you’ve been accused of. There are circumstances where the defendant might decide to keep silent and not present any witnesses. The burden of proof will require that the judge is beyond certain that the defendant accused of the crime he or she is being accused of. The mere thought that the defendant might have committed the crime is not enough for conviction
There is an Alibi
With such kind of defense, it means the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the crime was being committed. The defense should produce evidence for the alibi.
I Did But
The acquittal could be the result of the prosecutor proving beyond doubt that the defendant committed the crime. There are different kind of excuses that the defendant could use and some of them include:
When self-defense applies
It will apply when someone has been charged with a violent crime such as battery, murder, or assault. In such circumstances, the defendant will admit to the use of violence but justify it was self-defense. There are core issues within a self-defense case. The aggressor will first have to be determined. There is also a need to prove that self-defense was necessary or reasonable. The amount of force that was used will also have to be reasonable. For such an excuse to pass, it means you did not have any other option but to defend yourself.
This is based on the principle that punishment that is issued is justifiable because the defendant was in complete control of the behavior. Such a defense could prevent people that are not mentally sane to avoid prosecution.
Under the Influence
Defendants could argue they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when committing the offense. In general, voluntary inebriation will not excuse you from criminal prosecution. There are states that make exceptions but arguing such a case could be a complex undertaking.
Statute of Limitations
This is another common type of defense for criminal cases. The defendant could argue that the statute of limitations has expired. Statute of limitations will require that legal action is taken within a specified time frame. Not all crimes will have the same statute of limitations. The period could be a couple of months or even years since the date the crime was committed. If it is a serious criminal offense, the prosecution will want to make sure that there is a criminal charge before the statute of limitations expires.
This is a crime that could be induced by another party, usually the government. With entrapment, you wouldn’t have committed the crime if it was not for the undercover operative. Entrapment cases are usually difficult to prove as you’ll be required to provide sufficient evidence to support your case.
Defense of Property
This could arise when the defendant was out to harm or steal the defendant’s property. Not a lot of attorneys will take this line of defense as it could lack merit when presented before a court of law.
Defense of Others
There are some situations where the victim might be attempting to harm the family or friends of the defendant. The defense will come about when the defendant believes that there was a need of using reasonable force in order to defend their loved one. The burden of proof will be on the defendant to establish such kind of defense.
Burden of Proof
In any criminal case, the burden of proof will always be on the prosecutor. They’ll be required to come up with the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime he or she is being accused of. For all criminal cases, the standard of proof will be beyond a reasonable doubt. This will apply to each and every element of the criminal case. If a crime has four elements, the onus will be on the prosecutor to prove all that all the elements were met by the prosecutor. The defense attorney could argue that the prosecutor has failed to meet the burden of proof.
Getting a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been arrested because of a criminal offense, the focus will be to get out of jail. You want to make sure that you’re reaching out to a criminal defense attorney to help with the preparation of the defense. The attorney will analyze the facts and the evidence presented before exploring the legal options. The goal would be to get the best outcome for the case. One way you can know you’re working with a good attorney is by looking at similar cases that they’ve handled in the past. You can also ask for references just to be safe. Working with a local attorney is also recommended as they could be knowing the prosecutors which will help with your case.