Until you are arrested for a crime that you did not commit, you may never give the defense moves below a second thought. The justice system allows all those charged with offenses to mount a vigorous defense in an effort to convince the judge or jury of your innocence. The law may place the burden of proving your guilt on the prosecution, but that does not relieve you and your defense attorney from the burden of proving your innocence. Read on for an overview of 3 commonly used defense moves.
1. You Weren't There
When you have some corroboration from a third party that you were elsewhere when the crime was being committed, you have an alibi. Depending on an alibi, however, is far from open-and-shut. Your alibi must be reliable, neutral and convincing. For example, you spouse may not be seen as a neutral party, since the prosecution could show that they were trying to protect you. If, however, you can produce more evidence to support your alibi, such as video footage or a credit card receipt, your alibi stands a far better chance of being believable. Additionally, the prosecution may be able to show that you had time to leave your alibied location and return without notice, or that you hired someone else to commit the crime on your behalf.
2. You Fought Back
Here, you admit that you were the perpetrator of the crime, but there was mitigating circumstances. The prosecution may try to show that physical size or the sex of the plaintiff played a part in the crime. You have the right to defend yourself if you are in danger yourself, but you will need to show that you:
Really were in danger and in fear of your life
Used just enough force to protect your life, without any undue extra force
3. You Were Mentally Incapacitated
Also known as the insanity defense, this form of defense is the most misunderstood. Calling people with mental disorders "insane" is not only politically incorrect, there exists no insanity defense in the law books nor will you find insanity in any mental health diagnostic manual. Instead, plaintiffs state that they did not know, nor could have known, that they were doing anything criminal at the the time of the crime. If convicted of a crime, mentally ill plaintiffs are often remanded to mental institutions.
To get more information about forming your defense, speak to an attorney, like one from Cooper & Bayless PA.