Being accused of crime means you will be produced in court. In law jargon, the accused is also called a defendant. You, as a defendant, and your lawyer as your representative throughout the trial, will surely try to establish some kind of strong criminal defense to prevent the dreadful verdict – “You are guilty”.
A criminal defense is a strong and strategic argument in an attempt to challenge legality and sufficiency of the evidence produced by the prosecution. The prosecution refers to the party that brings and defends the charge against you.
Affirmative Criminal Defense
Some criminal defenses try to refute the prosecution’s evidence by claiming that these are anything but true. There are different types of criminal defenses that admit some of the evidence is true. These criminal defenses are also called affirmative defenses. In affirmative defenses, the defendant and his/her criminal lawyer produce evidence favorable to the defense.
The kind of defense you and your criminal lawyer chose partly depends on the type of crime you were allegedly involved in, and the available evidence in your support.
The Insanity Defense
This type of defense, mostly popularized by TV Shows and movies, is neither successful nor used frequently. According to the insanity defense, you committed the crime without knowing that your deed was wrong.
To maximize the chance of your insanity defense, you must prove that you were suffering from a serious mental defect or disorder at the time when you committed the crime. Both you and your lawyer must collect and present plenty of valid evidence in support of your mental illness and prove that insanity of mind damaged your understanding of what you did was wrong.
It is pretty risky to depend on the insanity defense. When you use insanity defense, you accept that you were involved in the crime. If your insanity defense is rejected in the court, the jury will likely give you a ‘guilty’ verdict. Always consult with your criminal defense attorney before using insanity defense.
Abandonment and Withdrawal
This type of criminal defense is also called renunciation. This defense puts forward a logic that you were going to perpetuate the crime or be a complicit in the crime but then decided against it. From the technical perspective, it is an affirmative defense that requires you and your lawyer to prove that you withdrew from any kind of involvement in the crime.
For a successful abandonment and withdrawal defense, you have to prove that your actions before withdrawing from any type of involvement in the crime must not have contributed to the crime or you informed the police before the crime actually occurred.
Coercion and Duress
Coercion and Duress, also an affirmative defense in criminal cases, state that you had no other way but to resort to crime after being threatened with an illegal force. Merely the threat of unlawful action can be enough to coerce the defendant into wrongful action.
Interestingly, the threat of force or the use of force does not necessarily need to be applied against the alleged criminal; rather it could have been used against any of the accused person’s family members.
It is not possible to invoke the coercion and duress defense if you landed in the situation due to your reckless behavior and action and caused you duress.