Common Defenses

As best understood by a Harris County criminal defense lawyer, there are common threads that regularly appear in successful criminal defenses even though each case is unique. The most obvious is (1) the defendant did not commit the crime; but a less often applicable defense is (2) the defendant committed the acts as charged, but should not be held responsible.

The defendant did not commit the crime

Simply, the best defense is to prove you did not do it. Your Houston criminal defense attorney can establish this through various means:

1. Innocent until proven guilty is the fundamental standard of the American justice system. This is why Constitutional and other legal rights, such as remaining silent, pleading the fifth and Miranda issues have been established. The burden is on the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high standard to achieve. Not only does this standard apply to the overall consideration of guilt or innocence, it applies to each and every element of the case.

3. Alibis demonstrate the defendant could not have committed the crime because he or she was elsewhere, as established by a witness, at the same moment the crime occurred.

The defendant committed the acts, but should not be held responsible

A defendant may in fact admit he or she did the act, but nonetheless was justified in doing so and therefore no crime was committed, due to:

1. Self-defense occurs where someone who was initially the victim becomes the aggressor. The issue for your Houston criminal defense attorney to explain is how the self-defense was reasonably necessary to prevent impending physical harm.

2. Insanity defenses are based upon one of the two fundamental elements of criminal law: a “physical” element, as well as a “mental element,” must be proved for the vast majority of crimes. Should the defendant not have the mental capacity to be able to understand the nature of the act he or she is performing, that defendant may be “legally” insane.

Other defenses are available, such as entrapment or being under the influence. Your case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. The best chance for a positive resolution is to begin with an understanding of your rights and potential liabilities.Todd White, your Harris county personal injury attorney, offers a no-obligation initial consultation. Call (713) 780-1633 for an appointment today.