Defenses Every Criminal Attorney Should Consider

by | Aug 8, 2012 | Lawyers and Law Firms

The general classification of the Law is Civil or Criminal Law. The former regulates disputes between individuals while the latter analyses wrongs against the state. This explains why the title of a civil case like a personal injury claim would be something like “Smith vs. John” while a criminal trial will be more like “The State vs. Smith.” So fact is, if Smith steals from John and the matter is later taken by the police as a criminal offense, the parties to the case will be the State and Smith; not between Smith and John -unless of course John files another civil matter in court independent of the criminal case. Back to our main topic, ideally, any person charged with a criminal offense has a right to be represented by a criminal attorney. This is enshrined in the US Constitution on the fifth Amendment.

The duty of a criminal attorney Orange County primarily is to ensure that the court reaches to a favorable and just conclusion in the light of the evidence tendered by the prosecution. Not all cases however end up in full trial. In some instances, a defense lawyer will need to explore the option of negotiating for a plea bargain on behalf of his/her client. Also, a criminal attorney may apply to the court for dismissal of the case where procedural improprieties were committed by the prosecution. Courts normally protect the rights of accused persons vigilantly and hence violations of the rights of a person will usually lead to a dismissal of the case. If a matter ends up in full trial, an attorney must be armed with defenses. These defenses are discussed as herein under.

First, a criminal lawyer may argue mistake. Mistake generally presupposes that the accused person lacked the intention to commit the crime. This intention is usually referred to as mens rea. Where it is lacking, then a crime will not be proved-even if actual commission (or actus reus) is present. Point to note however is: ignorance of the law is no defense

The second defense is one of immature age. The law generally has an age limit below which a person cannot be criminally liable. It is generally presumed that children are incapable of making conscious decisions regarding commission of crimes. The age limit varies from State to State and hence your criminal attorney Orange County should advise you accordingly.

The third is the defense of insanity. Insanity is generally a legal test as opposed to a medical or scientific test. A defense counsel will have to demonstrate to the court that the accused person’s mental faculties of reason were impaired and thus he/she lacked the mens rea for commission of the crime.

Other defenses include intoxication, self-defense, and many others. A criminal attorney must ensure that a court only convicts upon proof of the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

A criminal attorney Orange County must be well informed on the defenses accruing to his/her clients. For further information in this regard, please visit:

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