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What Are the Four Major Criminal Law Defenses?


Common Defenses We Argue in Criminal Cases

As criminal defense attorneys, our job is to create reasonable doubt in a client’s case. Our goal is for the court to determine that guilt cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt. When we go about presenting our defense, we want to create the most favorable outcomes for our clients. In order to achieve this goal, we must research the facts, investigate the case against our clients, and negotiate deals if necessary. The details of these cases can vary widely, but in any criminal case, there are usually four primary defenses that we might present:

  • Innocence

If we are taking this route in a case, the ideal scenario is that our client is actually innocent. However, our job in this situation runs deeper than simply stating the client’s innocence. Our job is to build our client’s defense around their innocence. To do this, we find witnesses and experts to testify. Simply stated, this helps us locate evidence which proves that the client did not commit the crime. This can include alibi witnesses or presenting evidence in court that shows another individual’s guilt. The more evidence we are able to locate and present, the stronger of a case we will be able to argue. For this reason, it is essential to have an attorney who you feel comfortable communicating with and confiding in. Derek A. Adame has firsthand insight into the strategies that will be used against you, and is ready to discuss the details of your situation and defend your rights.

  • Self-defense

Legally, self-defense only justifies the use of force when it is used in response to an immediate threat. This threat can be verbal, but it must put the victim in an immediate fear of physical harm in order to legally justify a physical act of self-defense. We often use this claim in cases of assault, battery, and murder cases, but we must justify that our client harmed or killed someone in order to protect themselves from threats of violence. In order for this defense to be successful, it is essential that we prove there was a high risk of danger that called for these actions.

  • Insanity

Another option in a criminal defense case is to plead insanity. In order for this to be successful, we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that our client was suffering from a mental illness which caused them to commit the act. These cases can be a bit complex because by nature because they require us to show that our client was unable to determine right from wrong at the time of the crime. Another complication with this type of defense is that it also requires us to admit that our client is guilty. However, in admitting this, we are also saying that the guilt should be excused due to lack of mental stability. We only choose this option if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Constitutional violations

Regardless of whether you have committed a crime, you are entitled to certain protections under the US Constitution. When we discuss the details of your case, the potential for these violations will likely be a subject that is often brought up. If you were treated unfairly during your arrest or in the way that evidence was presented, we want to have a record of that to help us build our case. If these violations are severe enough, they can even cause the charges to be dismissed or result in a plea bargain and a lesser charge. Some examples of common constitutional violations that tend to happen throughout the arrest process which we can use to build your case include:

  • Failure to obtain a warrant
  • Prompting a coerced confession
  • Illegal searching and seizing evidence from the defendant’s property
  • Breaking the chain of custody on evidence collected
  • Not reading a defendant their Miranda rights

If you are being accused or charged with a crime, Derek A. Adame can provide the aggressive defense you need. Call us at (940) 441-4239 or contact us online to find out how we can help your case.

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