This lawyer defends his client in court who has been accused of criminal activity that can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. If he is found guilty, his client could pay a fine, do community service, spend years in prison or even receive the death penalty. The job of the criminal defense attorney is to get his client acquitted or get him the lightest possible sentence. To accomplish this, criminal defense attorneys may use various defenses.

affirmative criminal defense

Some criminal defense lawyers will try to minimize the prosecution’s evidence by showing that it is not true. In this defense, the attorney, along with his client, produce evidence in support of the defense. For example, if the defendant is charged with first degree murder, meaning the client planned the murder before it occurred, he may choose to provide an alibi witness. This is someone who testifies that the defendant could not have committed the crime and gives them an alibi for the time the murder was committed.

insanity defense

This defense that was made popular by movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, it is a defense that is not used often nor is it often successful. When criminal defense attorneys use this defense, they claim that their client committed the crime but did not know that what he had done was wrong. To use this defense successfully, the client must have a serious defect or mental illness at the time he committed the crime. It can be risky to rely on this defense because the client is admitting to the crime, but if the jury doesn’t believe the client is insane, they may convict the client and hand down a harsher sentence than they might otherwise. used this defense.

coercion and coercion

This is an affirmative criminal defense used by attorneys who claim that their client was compelled to commit the crime because he was threatened with unlawful force. Force does not actually have to occur, just threat may be enough to satisfy this form of defense. This threat does not have to be against your client. It could be against another person like a family member. This defense cannot be invoked if your client’s reckless actions put him in the situation that caused the harshness.

General criminal defenses

• Self Defense – This states that your client’s actions would be considered criminal if the act was not necessary to defend themselves.

• State of Limitations – This is when criminal defense attorneys state that the amount of time the prosecution has to charge their client with the crime has elapsed, so the charges must be dropped.

• Consent: Acknowledge that you committed the crime but that the victim consented to it.

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