Common Defense Strategies In A Criminal Case

For people facing criminal charges, the stakes are as high as they can get because their liberty is at stake, along with their standing in the social and professional community. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the circumstances involving a criminal case and find critical mistakes made by law enforcement to help improve the defendant’s chance at putting up a successful defense. Legal counsel reviews the facts involved in the case and assesses whether law enforcement has made any critical mistakes in the defendant’s case.

Sometimes law enforcement cuts corners and tries to take the easy way out instead of doing their duty and ensuring that the defendant’s rights have been protected. When such mistakes are made this generally has the effect of having all charges dismissed against the defendant. Some of the most common strategies used by criminal defense attorneys in defending their clients are:

Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree

If the arresting officer hears or sees something incriminating because of a police mistake this evidence may be ruled inadmissible due to the legal doctrine of fruit of the poisonous tree.

Lack of Suspicion or Probable Cause

It may be argued that there was a lack of necessary reasonable suspicion or probable cause to justify the detention of the defendant or that the police officer may have a predisposition to believe that the defendant was guilty and had no other indication that a crime was committed.

Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer

Every aspect of the arresting officer’s circumstances, disciplinary record and training may be explored to aid in the cross-examination. Their disciplinary record may be used to attack their credibility of the officer at trial. Often the police reports on an incident are poorly written which can be used to counter the statements of the arresting officer at trial. A cross-examination may also be effective where an attorney challenges an officer who portrays themselves as an expert by attacking their credibility based on their lack of training or experience, the lawyer can build reasonable doubt.

Denial of a Legal Representative

When a defendant asks for legal representation clearly, police officers should stop questioning the defendant. A defendant has a right to legal counsel once they are in custody and being questioned.

Provide Feasible Alternative Explanation Or Alibi

There may be innocent explanations that can help explain suspicious behavior and characteristics such as unsteady balance, slurred speech, incomprehensible speech, red eyes and other factors may explain some suspicious behavior.

Lack of Specific Intent

In certain criminal cases, the prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to commit a particular crime. For example, in theft cases, the prosecution may have to show that the defendant had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of an item that he or she lawfully owned. Without this intent, the defendant cannot be convicted.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a criminal offense in Long Island, it is imperative that you retain the services of a qualified and experienced criminal defense law firm such as the Mirsky Law Firm to protect your rights and fight for your freedom.

Share this Article

About the Author

Rudy Vasquez is a trial attorney living in San Antonio, Texas. He has been certified and recertified as a personal injury and accident attorney four times by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He investigates, pursues insurance claims of all type on behalf of consumers and injured clients.