Criminal law covers a wide range of illegal activity, including assault, kidnapping, theft, conspiracy, public intoxication, embezzlement and more. With each case, a criminal defense attorney uses their skill and knowledge of the law to represent those charged with a crime. It is the defense they put forward that matters most when facing jail time or other criminal consequences.

What Is a Defense in Criminal Law?

A criminal defense attorney uses defenses to disprove a prosecutor’s case in court. For example, if you are charged with committing a crime, the prosecutor must establish that you’re guilty of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, it’s your attorney’s responsibility to challenge the validity of a prosecution’s case.

5 Common Criminal Defenses Used in Criminal Law

Criminal defense attorneys choose from a variety of defenses depending on the facts of the case. Some common criminal defenses include:

  • Innocence: This is the defense used if the defendant didn’t commit the crime at all. Often, alibis come into play—a defense that states a defendant was somewhere else when the crime was committed.
  • Self-defense: If a defendant is facing charges for a crime such as battery or assault and claims self-defense, an attorney will define the aggressor, prove that self-defense was necessary and if the action’s severity was necessary.
  • Duress: This type of defense might be used if a defendant claims that they were coerced into committing a crime against their will.
  • Insanity: One of the most difficult defenses to prove, the insanity defense states that the defendant was incapable of controlling the behaviors that led to the crime.
  • Necessity: If an emergency situation caused a defendant to commit a crime, a necessity defense might result.

Facing a Criminal Charge? Call a Criminal Defense Attorney.

If you’re facing a criminal charge, we recommend calling a defense attorney immediately. A professional criminal defense lawyer will consider every fact before building a case to support you. To learn more or for answers to your questions, send us a message.

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