What are the different types of criminal defenses?

types of criminal defenses

Whenever a person is accused of a crime, it is only natural for them to try to defend themselves. After all, their freedom may depend on the outcome of their trial.

According to criminal defense lawyer Stephen G. Cobb, a good private defense lawyer is one who can find an angle to place doubt in the minds of jurors, which is the minimum legal standard for an acquittal.

The criminal defense attorney will work to show discrepancies in the case of the prosecution. If The rights of the accused were violated, they may try to get a mistrial. If the case moves forward, they are likely to use one of several tried-and-true defenses.

The defendant had an Alibi

If the accused was at work, at the movies, or at a friend's house when the crime they are charged with took place, the attorney should have a fairly solid argument against the prosecution. The more evidence that the defense attorney has, the better.

They are likely to subpoena things like time clock records from work, security tapes, from public places such as movie theaters and parking garages. They will also try to get the testimony of anybody with whom the accused might have been.

The Accused was Only Defending Themself

Whether you shoot someone who is just about to shoot you or swing a stick at an insurgent mob that is charging into a building, there are times when you may end up hurting someone in self-defense. You may also act in the defense of others.

Evidence such as videotape and witness testimony will be very important in cases of self-defense. This defense will only work if the amount of violence was reasonable for the situation. If someone is beating you up and you respond by shooting them to death, it might not hold up in court.

Mistake of Law

Ignorance of the law is no excuse from it, but there are sometimes when you may misunderstand a legal situation.

For example, a person may use a company credit card to buy something that is not exclusively used for work. They then may be accused of theft by their employer. A person camping on public land may be accused of trespassing if they accidentally park their camper or set their tent up on a portion of land that is actually private. An attorney may use their clients’ misunderstanding of a situation for the defense.


Almost everyone understands crimes of necessity. If a parent steals a loaf of bread to feed their starving children or if a person sneaks onto the subway to get to work because they don't have the fare, the average person might be sympathetic.

The severity of the crime and excuse for it will depend on whether or not a judge or jury will accept it as a good defense.

Research is the key to building a good case. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to find an attorney who not only has a lot of experience with criminal law in the state of Florida but who has a staff of legal researchers who will have the necessary time to devote to your case.

Your freedom is always worth fighting for. Using the right defense can be the key to winning your case.

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Posted - 01/25/2021