Criminal defense lawyers often take the brunt of the public scorn for defending criminals. It is a thankless job, but most of them believe that a person can only be guilty when proven so. Otherwise, they remain innocent. This assumption is the reason why the prosecution must establish the defendant’s guilt, and the criminal defense must counter these attacks in a variety of ways. They can argue against the evidence, or they can find holes in the prosecution’s presentation of the case. Morris County criminal defense attorneys claim that they have encountered a number of cases in which a defendant can avoid legal implications for their actions. Some of these include:
Defendant Does Not Have a Clear Understanding of the Actions
Some of the cases that a defense lawyer can take include defending a person who did not understand that their actions when they committed the crime.
In most cases, it is often used in defense of insanity. In cases like these, a defense lawyer must prove that the defendant had a mental disorder during the time the crime was committed, rendering them incapable of understanding their actions were wrong. It can be a disorder in which the defendant lacked the capacity to control their violent impulses. In some states, the defense of insanity will allow the defendant to avoid imprisonment, but they will have to undergo treatment in a psychiatric facility.
Defense of intoxication is also a valid defense that a defendant can use to support the claim that they do not have a full understanding of the consequences of their actions. Do remember, however, that an intoxication defense is limited to specific intent crimes.
A criminal defense lawyer may also defend against the mistake of law. The mistake of law purports that the defendant made a crude mistake that nullifies a crime element. It can be applied when the defendant believes that their actions are within the law. However, this defense can only be used in limited instances.
Defendant Has Valid Reason for the Action
Criminal defense lawyers can also represent a defendant when the latter committed the crime in the belief that the action was justified. The most recognized form of this is self-defense and the defense of others. One example of this is when the defendant shoots an intruder because he or she felt threatened. Another instance is when the crime was committed because he or she was forced to do so. Also called the defense of duress, this defense may argue that their life would be in danger unless they commit the crime. The necessity defense in which the defendant may claim that the crime was necessary to prevent more significant harm. One example is stealing a car to chase an individual with an explosive device.
Defendant Claims No Crime Occurred
Some criminal defense lawyers also may represent a defendant who argues that no crime was committed as in defense of consent. For instance, a defendant may claim that while there was sexual intercourse, it cannot be rape because it was consented to. Another argument possible here is the absence of assault because the victim consented to the harm. Defense of abandonment or withdrawal can also be argued in court. In these cases, a person may initially agree to participate in the crime but eventually chose not to.
At most times, criminal defense attorneys received significant backlash from the public without knowing the whole story about the case. Often, they defend those who have been accused of a crime because the lawyers believe they are innocent, and they deserve to have fair treatment. Sometimes these lawyers have to defend not only their clients but also themselves for doing their job.