What Are The Most Important Defenses You Can Use Against Criminal Charges?
If you have been charged with a crime, you have the right to remain silent and have the prosecutor prove the case against you. Of course, it does not hurt if you can also prove your innocence instead of just relying on reasonable doubt. Here are some of the defenses you can consider.
Do You Have An Alibi?
It is impossible for you to have committed a crime if you were somewhere else when it happened. A solid alibi almost always results in a win at trial if your case does not get dismissed before that.
While it helps if other people were with you to prove your alibi, that is not always necessary in the modern age. Your phone, your car, and other devices can also track where you go. That location record can be more reliable in proving where you were than having a friend, who the prosecutor can say was lying, give an alibi.
Are the Witnesses Consistent?
Some witnesses can be difficult because peoples' memories are often unreliable. They may have a hard time remembering and describing specific details. In some cases, witnesses who are trying to be helpful may say what they think the police and prosecutor want to hear even if they cannot remember everything exactly the way it happened.
Your criminal defense attorney may be able to cross-examine each witness for inconsistencies in their stories. Your attorney may also be able to get copies of police reports and other witness statements to see if their stories changed over time. Even if the version they tell the jury is the truth, the fact that they said different things at different times may undermine their credibility so that there is reasonable doubt in your case.
Did the Police Mishandle Evidence?
There are specific rules the police must follow for handling evidence to be able to use it in a case. For example, if they recover drugs, they must fill out the right paperwork and put the seized drugs in the right place. If they just throw the drugs in the back of their car and leave them unattended for several days, there is no legal way of proving if the drugs came from you or someone else. If any type of evidence is mishandled in this manner, it may mean that it cannot be used against you in court.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer for more information.