Being accused of a crime is no joking matter. The penalties for many crimes can be quite severe. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help you mount a successful defense in court. Below are a few ways that attorneys can craft a criminal defense with their clients.
The Truth Always Involves a Point of View
One of the most integral elements of a criminal defense strategy is getting a version of the truth presented to a jury that benefits the defendant. This does not mean lying to the jury about the facts of the case. It means presenting those same facts with a different interpretation from an alternate point of view than that of the prosecution.
For example, there may be solid evidence that proves the defendant shot her boyfriend with a handgun. The prosecution may argue this was a murder. However, the defense may present an alternate version of the facts that suggests that the defendant was being abused by her boyfriend and was acting in self defense. In both cases, the foundation of basic facts is the same. Just how those facts are presented can determine whether the defendant is condemned by the jury or gains the jury’s sympathy.
The Defendant’s Story
Part of the process of developing a criminal defense is making sure that the defendant has a solid story explaining what happened to present in court. Usually, the defendant’s story regarding a crime will come in one of three forms.
First, there may be a simple confession of the deed that lines up with the case of the prosecution. The main reason for using this strategy is to gain leniency from the judge in the form of a plea deal.
Second, the defendant may offer a denial story. In this case, the defendant will completely deny having anything to do with the purported crime at all. The classic example is putting forth an alibi. This is done to obtain a straight forward acquittal and may be successful if the prosecution’s evidence is weak.
Lastly, the defendant may use an explain strategy. In this case, the defendant admits that certain things suggested by the prosecution are true. For example, the defendant may admit she shot her boyfriend. However, an explanation for why is then presented to the jury that will explain why it wasn’t actually a crime. Good strategies include explaining that the defendant was acting in self defense, was entrapped by law enforcement, was coerced by another party with threats or was not sane when the event occurred.
A good defense attorney should also produce evidence to convince the jury that the defense’s version of the truth is the correct one. This may include presenting evidence obtained from the scene. This evidence should be interpreted for the jury by an expert witness that has a high level of credibility.
Character witnesses may also be presented to the court that can back up the defense’s claims. Lastly, the defendant should also probably testify but only after being coached by the criminal defense attorney on how to most successfully present her story and answer questions from both the defense and prosecution.