Criminal Defense Strategies

A good criminal defense attorney has to be an expert in all of the possible ways of setting up a good criminal defense against the accusations of the prosecution. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to provide the best possible defense, which means either the dropping of charges or the smallest penalty possible. There are several strategies lawyers use, depending on specific situations, to defend their client against criminal prosecution and these are recognized in most states in the United States, from Westchester, New York, to San Diego, California. This page can help you in that.

Mental disorder is a legally recognized condition which may lead to clearing the charges, but only if the client is considered „criminally insane“, meaning that the person does not understand the wrongfulness of his/hers conduct or the inability to conform conduct to the law. If this condition is determined by court appointed officials, most common result is medical treatment in mental hospitals.

Automatism is a certain medically described state, during which the muscles act „themselves“, without control by the mind, or act without the influence of consciousness. Automatism is usually recognized as acting without voluntary control. If a criminal act is committed while in this state, the defendant can be discharged.

A similar state is intoxication, but with a significant difference: intoxication may be self-induced. So, intoxication can be voluntary or involuntary, which creates a very big difference in the court. Specifically, it is strongly connected to concepts of specific and basic intent. Intoxication is better explained through the lack of mens rea or actus reus, hence removing the need for a defense.

Some jurisdictions accept the defense of „mistake of fact“, where the main issue is to prove that the defendant was acting under the genuine impression that his or hers actions were justifiable and that no crime was being committed.