When a criminal defendant is on trial, they are not required to prove their innocence. Instead, it is the defense's responsibility to raise questions about the evidence presented by the prosecution. The defense lawyer may choose not to present any evidence if they believe that the plaintiff or government have not proven their case. However, in general, the defense will present evidence in order to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.
To convict a criminal defendant, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant has the opportunity to present a defense, and there are many possible defenses that can be used. These range from claiming innocence to self-defense. Read on to learn more about some of the most common defenses used in trials.
The defense of necessity is one of the most well-known and commonly used defenses. In order for this defense to be successful, all six elements must be satisfied. The prosecutor must also provide exculpatory evidence that could harm their case. It is important to note that one or more of these possible defenses may apply to your case, and timing is critical.
Both the defense and the prosecutor can call witnesses to testify or provide information about the situation. The defense of coercion or duress involves admitting to committing a crime. To create reasonable doubt in jurors' minds, defense lawyers try to open gaps in the prosecution's case by attacking the evidence and credibility of their witnesses. An experienced criminal defense lawyer has many tools at their disposal when it comes to defending a criminal action, from challenging the prosecution's case to presenting defenses specific to the defendant's conduct or case. In order for a defense to be successful, the defendant must prove each element using the civil standard of preponderance of evidence, or that each of the six elements is more likely to have been proven.
Some defendants may choose not to use this defense due to potential longer psychiatric facility stays than prison sentences. If environmental conditions hindered cultivation, then you could file a defense under the Compassionate Use Act or Medical Marijuana Program Act. If due to extreme poisoning, the defendant cannot intend to commit a crime, then intoxication could be used as a defense. For example, if someone urgently needs an antidote that can only be obtained by burglary at a facility at night when no one is present, then this could be used as a defense of necessity. In many jurisdictions, if the defendant does not raise the question of statute of limitations at trial then they will lose this defense.