What are the four major criminal law defenses?

What are the four major criminal law defenses?

A criminal defense attorney will explain the truths of the legal system in order for you to understand what you may encounter during the trial. Not only is your lawyer well versed in this system, but they are also able to clearly explain to you the rules and regulations that will apply to your case as well as how to navigate the judicial system.

If you are facing the possibility of serious penalties or the risk of spending time in jail, it is crucial for you to retain the services of an aggressive criminal defense attorney. With the understanding that all cases are different, your criminal defense attorney will work unwaveringly to prepare the arguments and strategies that will be used to remove the charges against you and any penalties you might be facing pertaining to the alleged crime.

What are the four major criminal law defenses?

Although there are definitely more than four strategies that lawyers can use in criminal defense cases, there are four that are most commonly used. Each one of them is used for different purposes, allowing an experienced criminal defense attorney to decide which one would work best on each case. The ultimate idea is to provide enough doubt in the minds of the judge or jurors to help their clients receive an acquittal. Here are the four most common ones:


Claiming you are innocent, simply means that you are claiming that you did not do what they are accusing you of, like identity theft. It sounds like this should be pretty straightforward: you say you are innocent while at the witness stand, the jury believes you, end of story. Unfortunately, real life does not turn out this way. Your lawyer will call upon experts, find evidence that places you away from the scene at the time the crime was committed, present a strong alibi, and point to someone else that should be convicted of this crime instead of you. In the end, the jury will have to find it difficult to convict you.


In cases of battery, assault, and even murder self-defense claims are often used. Your lawyer will argue that you had to commit this act in order to protect your life or that of your loved ones. Although it sounds quite forthright, these are difficult cases to win. Your lawyer must prove that this was your best option under the circumstances but the prosecution will try to show that there was no need for you to go to such extreme measures.


When you claim that you were not of sound mind when you committed the crime, the burden falls on you. This means that your lawyer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were suffering from some type of mental illness at the time the crime took place. In these cases, you would basically be admitting that you are guilty of what happened but asking for your guilt to be excused. It is a risky strategy to use.

Constitutional Violations

The U. S. Constitution entitles you to specific protections. These constitutional violations are used in criminal defense cases when your lawyer argues that you were not treated as you should have either when you were arrested or when the evidence was gathered. Maybe the officers did not present a warrant or did not read you your Miranda rights. Maybe they obtained a coerced confession or illegally searched your vehicle or your house.

Your criminal defense lawyer will be the one to determine which one of the above strategies would work best in your case. Speak with one today.



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