To convict a defendant, a prosecutor must prove that person’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In every case, the defendant is given the chance to present a defense. A San Antonio criminal defense lawyer and their client may use one of several defenses, as explained below.
The Defendant Didn’t Commit the Offense
Typically, defendants make claims that they simply didn’t commit an offense. They may argue that another person is responsible, or that no criminal action occurred. A defense lawyer using this strategy might allege that a witness’ testimony is inaccurate, or that a client’s actions didn’t fulfill the elements of a criminal offense.
The Defendant Committed the Act, But….
Sometimes, clients are acquitted even when prosecutors show that they undoubtedly committed an act. There are numerous ‘excuse’ defenses; some of these are listed here.
- Self-defense: This defense is typically asserted by those facing charges of assault, battery, or murder. A defendant will admit to using violence, but claim that it was brought about by the other person’s violent behavior.
- Insanity: Here, the defense focuses on the idea that a punishment is only reasonable if a defendant can control his or her actions and they are aware of the difference between right and wrong.
The “Under the Influence” Defense
A defendant who commits a crime under the influence of alcohol or drugs may argue that their mental capacity was diminished so severely that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. However, voluntary intoxication is not an excuse for criminal behavior. In some cases, a defendant accused of an offense requiring specific intent can say that they were too intoxicated to have formed such intent.
When a government entity induces a person to commit a crime that they wouldn’t have committed otherwise, entrapment has occurred. Law enforcement personnel may, however, give defendants opportunities to commit offenses without also committing entrapment. This defense is very hard to prove, and as such, it’s rarely used.
Call For Help
If you’re facing criminal charges, consult a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Visit us at JesseHernandezLaw.com to learn more or call the Law Office Of Jesse Hernandez to schedule an appointment. Follow us on Twitter