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Common Defenses Argued in Criminal Cases
Law is, as some of you may know, more than just someone being right and someone being wrong. In the middle of everything, you have facts and evidence that, ultimately, can change right into wrong and the other way around as well.
This is why many areas of law, such as the one of criminal justice, look at so much more than what we believe. For example, criminal defense law firms that get involved in huge criminal cases have to prepare for them to the tiniest detail, or they risk getting their client behind bars.
As such, in today's article, we'll take a look at common defenses that are argued in criminal cases that may make you or your lawyer lose a case!
Lack of Understanding of the Crime
One of the most common defenses that is usually argued in the court of law – as well as in movies -, refers to implying that the defendant didn't know/understood that what they did was wrong.
In some cases, the defense of so-called insanity may also be summoned as it will most likely keep an individual away from prison. The same concept applies to the intoxication and arguing its defense. Being under the influence implies the individual not having a proper understanding of their actions, thus potentially making them not liable for their actions.
Justification of Action
The next defense commonly argued in criminal cases refers to the defendant having acted with full justification of action. For example, an individual kills a trespasser – the fact that someone was illegally on their property gives them the right to act and, if brought to court, serves as a justification of their actions.
Naturally, justification of action usually shows up in the form of necessity defense, as mentioned, as well as in the form of self-defense and duress defense. The latter implies the defendant being forced to commit a crime, thus not being fully responsible or liable for it.
Lack of Crime/Criminal Activity
There are also cases in which the criminal defense lawyer may rely on the fact that no actual crime occurred and that the defendant shouldn't suffer the consequences.
This is common in cases of rape, for example, where someone gets sued but there is proof of consent available. Or, a better example would be two friends agreeing to a friendly fight in which one of them ends with a broken arm. The injured cannot sue – or successfully sue – because they have consented to harm.
Last but not least, the criminal defense lawyer can argue that the officer responsible for their case did not act in a proper manner that should've been consistent with the training they have been offered.
What the lawyer aims for in such a case is to prove that the officer's actions resulted in inaccurate results that cannot be used as evidence for the criminal case. Such things usually don't happen, but if officers/representatives omit something, innocent men may go to prison and guilty ones may be set free.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of sides to be taken into consideration when it comes to criminal law. Looking at the case from one side may make you think that you know who the guilty person is, but looking from both sides and from the judge's side as well may alter the verdict.
This means that, as a defendant or lawyer in court, you will face a lot of pressure, especially when trying to make the facts work in your favor – and argue a defense for your client's benefit!
References and Sources