Common Defense Strategies Used By Criminal Defense Attorneys

Published: 24th May 2011
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As a criminal defense attorney, it is your job to defend each client to the best of your ability, presenting valid arguments and defense strategies in a multitude of situations. The charges for two cases may be exactly the same, but this does not by any means make the attorney's job any easier. You have to factor in the person's background, the circumstances of the crime/charge, evidence presented and available, and what you have at your disposal. The following are just a few of the most common defense strategies used by criminal defense attorneys, in no particular order:



Guilty



Keep in mind that there are strategies that come into play when you plead guilty even, such as admitting that you did what you are accused of but having a valid explanation for why. This is where the law can become really complicated, and guilty becomes not guilty by reason of Plea bargains and plea agreements are popular strategies when a guilty verdict is almost inevitable, unless there are factors that give rise to other options.



Not Guilty



A not guilty plea is often used for those who will show the court that they did not or could not have committed the crime in question. Pleading not guilty does not always mean that you are trying to prove that you did not commit that particular crime at all. It can also mean that you are going to show the court that you might have committed the crime, but you were obligated or forced to do so, such as in the heat of passion. Remember, it is ALWAYS'S the State's burden of proof to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You are presumed innocent and therefore are not required to prove your innocense.



The strategies for raising reasonable doubt often include witness testimony, both experts and eyewitnesses, forensic evidence, alibis, and similar methods, although sometimes proving a lack of evidence is just as effective as proving the alternative. For instance, if you cannot prove that you were in a certain place, you may instead be able to make the jury think about whether you could have been in another place. This method, often called redirecting the jury, is very commonly used when there is a significant amount of circumstantial evidence against you.



This information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.



William Bly of The Law Office of William T. Bly is a Portland Maine defense attorney who is often focused on criminal defense issues. To read more information, visit the firm's website. williamblylaw.com

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