Defense Strategies in a Criminal Case – When a criminal defense attorney starts working on a new case, there are many things to consider.  There are many things that need to be discussed and decided in working and communicating with the client, including but not limited to the following:

  • What the discovery in the case says
  • What other information we can obtain besides what is contained in the discovery, and what that says
  • Whether a plea offer is a good one
  • What the overall defense strategy should be going forward

Regarding defensive strategy, this is a complicated topic that requires a lot of thought, planning, and execution. In this blog, we will discuss possible defense strategies and how they are used. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

Why do you need a defense strategy?

When you are charged with a crime, it is the government’s burden to prove every element of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  The defense never has to prove innocence, so why have a strategy at all? There are several answers to that question:

  1. In the setting of a jury trial, it may not be enough to just hope that the government’s burden hasn’t been met. Jurors like to try to determine “what really happened” and if they tend to believe that the defense is guilty, the level of reasonable doubt can be very erratic depending on the purpose.  Because of this, the jury must have something to justify a not guilty verdict in their minds (many times).
  2. Plea negotiations, trial preparation, and motions need to follow some sort of coherent thought pattern. If you do not have a defensive strategy it is hard to determine where to begin the defense of the criminal case.

What are some defense strategies that can be utilized?

There are several defense strategies that are possible in criminal cases. Which ones are available depend upon the facts of the case.  Just a few examples are as follows:

  • Someone else committed the crime alleged, and not the person charged
  • There was an affirmative defense for the crime committed
  • The crime alleged was not committed at all

How these and other defense strategies are used depend on many circumstances and many factors.  There are also differences on how the same strategy is used for a plea negotiation versus how it is used for a criminal trial.

Criminal defense is a complicated topic with many nuisances and considerations to be made.  When charged with a crime you want professional help as soon as possible.  If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina and need a criminal defense attorney, contact us.

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