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Common Defenses to Criminal Charges

A criminal charge does not necessarily turn into a conviction. As a criminal defendant you are innocent until proven guilty. With experienced legal counsel by your side you can fight a criminal charge a number of ways. At Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, LLP, we proudly defend our clients who are facing criminal charges. We know that a conviction can mean severe penalties and life-altering consequences. That is why we are prepared to fight for you every step of the way.

What are the Common Defenses to Criminal Charges?

The appropriate defense to employ in a criminal case will depend on the type of charges and many other case specific circumstances. That being said, some of the most common defenses to criminal charges include:

  • Failure to meet the burden of proof: In a criminal case, the prosecutor carries the burden of proving that the defendant is guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal statutes lay out every element of a crime and the prosecutor must prove that the defendant is guilty of every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense may assert that a not guilty verdict should be returned because the prosecutor has failed in successfully proving the case at this high threshold of beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Innocence: While there will need to be proof to be a viable defense strategy, asserting innocence is a common defense to criminal charges. One possible way of showing that you are innocent is through an alibi. An alibi establishes that the defendant could not have committed a crime because he or she was at a different location at the time the crime was committed. To establish an alibi, proof such as an eyewitness account, security footage, or receipts, among other things, may be entered in as evidence.
  • Self-Defense: Usually asserted when a defendant has been charged with a violent crime, asserting the defense of self-defense means that the defendant was actually a victim of a threat made by the alleged victim of the violent crime. In a self-defense situation, the defendant asserts that the alleged victim was, in fact, an aggressor who threatened the defendant with imminent harm. For this defense to work, a reasonable person must have seen the alleged victim’s words or actions as a threat of imminent harm. Additionally, the defendant is only allowed to respond to this imminent harm with a level of force necessary to neutralize the threat. Any excessive force will render this defense ineffective.
  • Statute of limitations: There is a limited time period that legal action can be taken against someone for committing a crime. If legal action is not taken in a case, the statute of limitations will run and then there is a permanent bar on bringing the action at all. Most crimes have a statute of limitations and the length of time for the statute of limitations will vary between different crimes. Homicides usually do not have an applicable statute of limitations.

Rigorously Defending Our Clients Against All Criminal Charges

While facing a criminal charge may put you in the middle of a feeling of hopelessness, all is not lost. With the right defense counsel, you can fight these charges. This is what the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, LLP do. We fight for our clients and defend them against all charges they may face. Contact us today.

Posted in: Criminal Defense