Every American citizen has the right to fight criminal charges, according to the Bureau of Justice. The Sixth Amendment entitles defendants to the services of a criminal lawyer for guidance, protection and help structuring a defense.
Because each criminal case is different, the most effective defenses are structured around the facts of the particular charges. With the right approach, it may be possible to convince the courts to reduce the penalties or charges, or to dismiss the case altogether.
If you are facing criminal charges in New York, then the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso may be able to help. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with a criminal attorney in White Plains, call us today at 914-772-8614.
Until then, read on to learn five defense strategies that are common in criminal cases:
- Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time that prosecutors have to charge you formally with a crime. If they are late, then the court is likely to dismiss the case. Several factors determine the statute of limitations, such as whether you are facing state or federal charges, as well as the type of charge.
Self-defense is a common strategy in assault, battery and murder cases. New York allows people to protect themselves with force, if necessary.
However, the force must mirror the threat. For example, killing someone who kicked you does not justify self-defense unless that person was trying to murder you. This defense may also be effective if you committed the crime to protect another person.
Sometimes, people commit crimes to protect themselves or their families from physical harm. If you can show the court that fear for your life drove you to commit a crime that you would otherwise not have committed, then this defense may work.
Insanity is a controversial defense strategy. It is not particularly reliable without undeniable proof of a disturbed mental state.
Furthermore, the insanity defense will not help you avoid incarceration. To improve the chance of a successful outcome, you must prove conclusively that you were mentally unstable or incapacitated during the crime, so you were unable to understand the consequences of your actions.
- Lack of Evidence
Casting doubt on the evidence may strengthen your case and weaken that of the prosecuting authority. If you successfully challenge the validity of the evidence, or lack thereof, the court may dismiss the charges against you.
However, your attorney will need to gather evidence that supports your assertion of invalid facts. Alternatively, your lawyer can demonstrate how the prosecution cannot win a conviction due to insufficient evidence.
Although these five defenses are common in criminal cases, there are many other strategies that can help you fight the charges. Your best source of guidance in this matter is a criminal lawyer who has handled cases that are similar to yours.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a White Plains criminal attorney, call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614.