Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be incarcerated, fined, or both. However, persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated.
To convict a criminal defendant, there must be proof that they are guilty. The defendant will be able to have the opportunity to try to prove otherwise. There are many defenses that are used in cases like these. Some of these would include, "I didn't do it", or " I did it as a means of self-defense".
The most common defense used is, " I did not do it". Those individuals claim that they did not do the alleged act in question. Everyone who is presented with a court case is considered innocent until they are proven guilty. The prosecution must convince the jury of the defendant's guilt. The defendant in question may choose to stay quiet and not provide any witnesses. According to NOLO, in practice, defense attorneys often present their own witnesses in order to counteract the government's case.
The proof must be enough so that the defendant is considered guilty without a reasonable doubt guilty. This is often an aspect that may hurt a lot of cases. It doesn't really matter if the defendant did or did not commit this crime. Of course crimes are very emotional for families and the individuals involved, but someone cannot be considered guilty without proof.
A way that the defendant tries to prove their innocence is by providing their own proof that they were somewhere else when this crime was being placed. This is also known as the alibi defense.
Sometimes the defendant in a case will admit to the crime that they committed. They will assert that their act was a means of self-defense in order to not pay the penalty of the crime committed. They then have to try to show proof of this.
These defenses are often used in cases involving violence such as battery, assault with a deadly weapon, or murder.
Often the court much reflect on who the aggressor was, whether or not it seemed reasonable to use self defense, as well as see if they amount of forced used was reasonable.
Self-defense is used when people belief that they need to use it in order to protect themselves. If they are in a situation that is potentially life threatening, then they should be able to use self defense.
Defendants may also plea insanity. The insanity defense is used when a defendant claims that they can not control their behavior. This may come into play in a situation where a defendant does not think what they did was wrong. A person in this situation will most likely undergo a psyche evaluation. These cases are usually very complex for it is often difficult to evaluate a person's mental state. The insanity defense uses rests in the hands of psychiatrists or psychologists.
These are some of the most common defenses used along with the claim that a person was too intoxicated or entrapment. If you or someone that you know is involved in a criminal case, these are some aspects that they might need to know. If you need help with your criminal law case, then give Palacios Law Group a call.