After you’ve been arrested and you are facing a trial, your criminal defense lawyer must mount a defense that will either reduce the charges against you, or earn an acquittal.
And while every case is different, there are some common criminal defense strategies that lawyers use to create enough reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind that you committed the crime.
One of the easiest ways that a defense lawyer can help a client is by proving that the client was not at the scene of the crime.
This is typically done by showing that the defendant had an alibi that can be confirmed by at least one credible witness.
While it’s true that some defendants can produce credible alibis and still have been involved in a crime via a third party, presenting a strong alibi can help create reasonable doubt in the mind of a jury.
Another potential defense to a criminal charge is for an attorney to introduce another possibility as to how the crime occurred that does not involve his or her client.
In other words, if a defense lawyer can show that another person could have committed the crime, this can create enough reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind and prevent a unanimous verdict, which is the standard necessary to convict a defendant in a criminal case.
In some instances, defense lawyers will attack the validity of the prosecution’s evidence, including the manner in which DNA was collected .
Because DNA is so crucial in criminal cases such as robbery, burglary, assault, and murder, defense lawyers will often focus their strategy on questioning whether that evidence was properly processed, or whether the evidence was tainted by faulty collection methods.
Creating reasonable doubt in a criminal case only requires a defense lawyer to convince one juror that there is a chance the defendant isn’t guilty. Because if that juror believes that the prosecution has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will not be convicted of the crime.
For some criminal cases, the best strategy is for a defense lawyer to admit that their clients committed the crime, but to argue that it was done in self-defense.
This strategy is often used in murder, manslaughter, and assault cases, in which defendants claim that they were defending themselves against another person’s attack.
The key standards in this defense, however, are that defendants must prove that they had a reasonable fear of physical harm, and that they used reasonable force to protect themselves from an attack.
For example, you could not argue self-defense if someone threatened to punch you, and you responded by pulling out a gun and shooting them.
While a defense to a criminal charge will vary based on the circumstances, an experienced defense attorney will always strive to convince a jury that doubt exists about a client’s guilt. At Fitch & Stahle, we have the resources and expertise to mount an aggressive defense . Please contact us today at 402-494-3012 for a legal consultation.
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