When the police arrested you, you may have felt surprised or frightened. Now, you probably feel worried about both the criminal consequences you face and the damage that those charges may do to your reputation.
A shockingly large number of people accused of crimes plead guilty just because they think they don’t have any other options. However, there are numerous ways that you can defend yourself against all kinds of crimes, depending on the circumstances.
Any one of the three strategies listed below might be a viable option in your case.
Use an affirmative defense
Most defensive strategies involve fighting the prosecutor’s allegations. If you assert an affirmative defense, you agree that you did certain things but maintained that they were not a crime.
Invoking the state’s self-defense law to counter homicide or assault charges would be an example of an affirmative defense. You don’t deny having done something but instead contend that you did not break the law with your actions.
Challenge the evidence that the state has against you
Sometimes, police officers violate your rights or break the law in the way that they gather evidence. If there was a search in your home without a warrant or consent, if the police did not inform you of your Miranda Rights prior to an interrogation or if you think that the state somehow violated your civil rights, you may be able to challenge the evidence the state wants to use against you.
Bring in your own experts
If you can’t challenge the evidence and prevent the prosecutor from presenting it, then you can change the way that the judge and jury view the evidence. Bringing in a specialist or forensic expert can help you challenge the prosecutor’s claims about what happened.
An expert who can provide a reasonable explanation for certain evidence that doesn’t involve you committing a crime could potentially help you avoid a guilty verdict. Remember that you don’t have to conclusively prove your innocence. You just need to create a reasonable doubt to avoid conviction.
Reviewing the evidence against you is often a crucial step in planning your criminal defense. Considering all of your options will give you the best chance of beating those criminal charges.