Your Best Defense to Felony or Misdemeanor Charges
If you have criminal charges, you need an experienced, passionate defense attorney who knows all possible defenses and is not afraid to fight!
Attorneys with a Track Record of Winning in Court
The law requires that the prosecutor prove every element of a crime at trial beyond a reasonable doubt for felony and misdemeanor charges. The defendant need not prove anything and need not say anything at all. However, there are times when the defendant wants or needs to introduce evidence to establish a defense. In these cases, the prosecutor will not help the defendant in court, so the defendant will have to present their own defense. What are the defenses in a criminal case? Here is what you need to know.
An experienced, seasoned attorney must formulate viable defenses in criminal cases and introduce them over possible prosecutor objections. An experienced lawyer knows what evidence to introduce and how to introduce it.
In this three-part series, we will review for you the following defenses to felony and misdemeanor charges:
- Self-Defense – Part I
- Alibi – Part I
- Impossibility – Part I
- Duress – Part I
- Necessity – Part I
- Entrapment – Part II
- Involuntary Intoxication – Part II
- Claim of Right – Part II
- Insanity – Part II
- Consent – Part III
- Statute of Limitations – Part III
- Abandonment and Withdrawal – Part III
- Actual Innocence (mistake, accident, lack of intent, etc.) – Part III
Self-Defense (And Why You Need an Attorney To Prove It)
In Michigan, the law allows you to defend yourself or your property against a physical attack if you honestly and reasonably believe such defense is necessary. In addition to being entitled to defend yourself, you may also defend someone else who is in immediate jeopardy of being harmed or killed. A defendant is allowed to argue self-defense only under certain circumstances. For example, the amount of force used must be reasonable, and the defendant must not have created the situation in the first place. There is no duty to retreat from an attack in Michigan, and you are legally allowed to stand your ground. Self-defense has many other limitations and complexities, and every case is different. An experienced criminal defense lawyer must look at the facts and develop a good self-defense argument. In some cases, self-defense might be just one of the available defenses in a criminal case. Defendants can assert multiple defenses simultaneously.
The Alibi Defense and Its Requirements
The alibi defense means you could not have committed the crime because you were not present at the crime scene at the time of the crime. To be successful, you’ll need to be able to show that you weren’t there. So that evidence can be shown in court, both the prosecution and the defense must follow a lot of complicated rules. The law says the defense attorney must tell the prosecution about an alibi defense before the trial. A top-rated, smart lawyer can find and organize all the evidence of an alibi and make sure it is presented in court in the most convincing way possible to defend against felony and misdemeanor charges. When the defense uses an alibi defense successfully, the accused is found not guilty of all charges.
Impossibility as a Defense in a Criminal Case
Impossibility means that, for whatever reason, the defendant couldn’t possibly commit the crime. For example, it would be impossible for someone who cannot speak to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Similarly, if a person stabs a corpse, he cannot be guilty of murder. If the commission of a crime was impossible, the defendant is not guilty.
Defense of Duress in a Criminal Case
A person may not be guilty of committing a crime if they only acted because of a reasonable fear of legitimate harm. There also must be a lack of opportunity to escape the situation. For example, a civilian in a bank threatened by an armed bank robber and forced to open a safe would not be guilty because he only agreed due to duress. A person cannot legally claim that they took an innocent life because of duress. Duress can be a very effective defense to a felony or misdemeanor charge; however, it takes a skilled lawyer to demonstrate this defense in court.
The Defense of Necessity
A person may find it necessary to commit a crime to avoid greater evil. In other words, a person who commits a crime is innocent if there appeared to be no other option in an emergency situation he did not create. For example, breaking a pipe in a building is usually considered malicious destruction. However, if a building was on fire and the defendant had to break a water pipe to put out the fire, the damage to the line was necessary. Because the damage was necessary, the defendant is not guilty of intentionally destroying the property.
Expert Criminal Defense Attorneys Know All Defenses in Criminal Cases
The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on misdemeanor and felony charges in Michigan. We have a well-deserved reputation for being top lawyers who fight hard for their clients while showing that they care about them. We are experts at establishing winning defenses, even in the most complicated cases.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.