5 Essential Types of Criminal Defenses

If you're accused of a crime, you have to show up in court. Therefore, it's crucial to look for an experienced attorney to represent you. If you want to represent yourself, you should at least consult a criminal defense law firm to understand what you're up against.

If you opt to hire an attorney, find a lawyer specializing in what crime you're accused of. These lawyers are more likely to be dedicated to your case while dealing with your suit. Depending on the crime you're charged with, certain affirmative defenses may be available to you, a defense attorney in Dallas has helped to make a list of those common defenses.

What Comprises Criminal Defenses

Criminal defense is a strategic argument aiming at challenging the prosecution's evidence validity and sufficiency. Here are the various types of criminal defenses:

1. Self-Defense

Self-defense cases show beyond doubt that your actions were paramount to protect yourself from others' harm. The concept of self-defense is that you are required to protect yourself and others against imminent danger. However, there are two aspects of critical to self-defense cases:

The threat must be honest and reasonable
The defendant's response should be appropriate, despite a genuine threat

A simple threat of assault is acknowledged in case you decide to attack someone. You don't necessarily have to be attacked first to warrant a self-defense plea.

2. Lack of Intent

The government must prove that the defendant intended to commit a crime in every felony case. A crime can only be achieved if a person commits an act to accomplish an unlawful purpose. The person must have evil intent in that he/she purposely committed the act for illegal purposes.
Crime can be broken down into two elements:

The mens rea: the intent to commit a crime
The actus reus: the act that involves a substantial step towards committing a crime

The government must prove both mens rea and actus reus component in order to be convicted of a crime

3. Insanity Defense

Insanity defense argues that one isn't responsible for their crimes due to suffering from mental problems at the time they committed a deed. It can also mean that someone was compelled to commit the crime at the time of the offense.

This defense involves a very small percentage of criminal cases in the United States, despite what you may see on TV, since the system assumes one has the knowledge of knowing what is ethical.

4. Coercion and Duress Defense

Coercion and duress are affirmative defenses that impose you were forced into committing a crime due to receiving threats with unlawful force. Unlawful force doesn't have to occur, and a threat is enough to satisfy the coercion defense.

The force or threat of force doesn't have to be against the individual accused of the crime.
It's also used against another individual, i.e., a family member. Coercion and duress cannot be adduced if your recklessness puts you in the situation.

5. Mistake Defense

If you are unaware of a fundamental fact that led you to commit a crime, you can use the mistake defense. There are two types of legal mistakes:
Mistake defense is used only in offenses that are strictly not a liability. An example is when someone mistakenly steals a car that resembles his/her vehicle.

Work on Your Defense Strategy

The criminal defense you chose to use depends on the crime you're charged with. Therefore, it's essential to recognize the different defenses to be used against your charges. You have the right to obtain a plea, thus, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer with experience in the type of case you're involved with. 

Do You Need An Attorney?

If so, post a short summary of your legal needs to our site and let attorneys submit applications to fulfill those needs. No time wasted, no hassle, no confusion, no cost.

Posted - 10/28/2021