Every criminal defense case is unique, defenses in each case will vary according to the specific circumstances. The strategy of the defense side in a criminal case is to make effective use of every possible defense to protect the defendant against criminal charges. To obtain a conviction in a criminal case, the prosecution is required to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
That makes the standard for proving guilt quite tough, and allows the defendant an opportunity to present every possible defense that may contribute to the raising of such reasonable doubt. It is usually a good idea for a defendant to hire the services of a criminal defense attorney to ensure that his or her rights under the law are fully protected.
Criminal Defense: Presumption of Innocence
If the defendant chooses the most basic line of defense against a criminal charge by denying that he or she committed the alleged criminal act, the defendant will be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The American criminal justice system is founded on this principle of presumed innocence. In fact there was even a movie with pretty much that same title. Furthermore, the legal system requires the judge and the jury to presume the innocence of the defendant until the prosecution is able to prove otherwise.
The defendant has a right to plead the “fifth amendment”, which offers him or the right to remain silent and not provide any evidence in support of the claim of evidence, and yet prevail. The former MLB slugger Mark McGuire is famous or infamous for this when dealing with the steroids issue. Depending on the nature of the case, a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale may advise the defendant to exercise such right under the law.
Proving Beyond Reasonable Doubt in Criminal Defense Cases
The onus of proving the guilt of a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt falls on the prosecution side. The law requires a prosecutor to demonstrate before a judge or jury that in the given case no reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt exists. If the defense side is able to raise any reasonable doubt at all on the conclusions of the prosecution, it will mean that the prosecution has failed to prove its case. The defendant will be found innocent in such a criminal case.
Many defendants also use the defense of an alibi effectively to prove their innocence. The standard of proving a criminal charge has been kept so high that a majority of defendants and their lawyers are focused on raising some amount of reasonable doubt to the allegations made by the prosecutor. Experienced criminal defense attorneys can offer legal assistance to a defendant in such cases.
In some criminal defense cases, where clear evidence of the defendant’s criminal act is available to the prosecution, the defendant may take a plea of self-defense. In such a case, the defendant will admit that he or she committed the act, but still claim innocence because the motive of the act was self-defense.
This defense may be typically used when an individual is charged with an act of physical violence against another person. The defendant can try to show that he or she was a victim rather than the aggressor in the particular situation.
The Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys at The William R. Moore Criminal Defense Law Firm are available to answer any questions you may have on a criminal case in Broward County Contact 954-523-5333