Possible Defenses in Criminal Cases – Part II

If Charged with A Crime, You Need an Experienced, Passionate Defense Attorney Who Knows All the Possible Defenses, And One Who Is Not Afraid to Vigorously and Aggressively Present These Defenses. You Need an Attorney Who Is Not Afraid to Win.

If a defendant pleads not guilty, the law requires that the prosecutor prove each and every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. There is a presumption that the defendant is innocent and he or she need not prove anything. If the defendant claims he or she is not guilty, a great defense lawyer will establish a powerful and credible defense. There are many defenses to criminal charges and if one is successful, it can result in an acquittal at trial or dismissal of the case.

It takes an experienced, seasoned attorney to formulate a viable defense and introduce it over possible prosecutor objections. An experienced lawyer knows what evidence to introduce and how to introduce it. Many lawyers will not take the time or expend the energy to build a credible defense and many do not have the litigation skills necessary to put forth a winning defense.

In this three-part series, we will review for you the following defenses:

The Entrapment Defense

A person is not guilty based on entrapment if the police engaged in conduct that would lead an otherwise law-abiding person to commit the crime in question or if the police engaged in conduct so bad that it cannot be tolerated. If the police merely present an opportunity to commit a crime, there is no entrapment and this is a very common and legal law enforcement tactic. If the police go too far, they may entrap an otherwise law-abiding citizen into committing a criminal offense.

This entrapment defense is very complicated and sophisticated and virtually all judges will be strongly inclined to disallow this defense in court. Usually only a highly experienced defense attorney would have the expertise to try to prove entrapment. Police and prosecutors loath this defense and, to be successful, it takes an attorney who is not afraid to win!

Sentence Entrapment is a Partial Defense

A defendant may be guilty of a crime but might be entrapped by the police into committing a more serious crime. Sentence entrapment most frequently occurs in drug cases but can occur in other crimes as well, like retail fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, wire fraud and more. In the typical case, an undercover officer purchases small amounts of drugs from a suspect and then pushes him to sell larger and larger amounts. If the increased amounts were pushed by law enforcement to increase the potential jail time, the defendant may be innocent of the more serious charge.

Intoxication as a Defense

Voluntary intoxication generally cannot be used as a defense with the exception of crimes that require a “specific intent” and only if the defendant can prove that he did not know and reasonably should not have known that he would become intoxicated. Involuntary intoxication, which can occur by someone putting something in another person’s drink for example, can be a complete defense to a felony or misdemeanor criminal allegation.

You Cannot Be Guilty of Stealing Your Own Property – Claim of Right

A defense to a charge of robbery, embezzlement, or any other type of theft crime whereby a defendant claims that he had a justifiable right to take specific property from another person. This defense is available even if the alleged theft was by force or was an honest mistake. A claim of right defense can be a powerful defense at trial and may result in an acquittal of all charges.

Insanity – The Inability to form Intent

If the accused lacked the substantial capacity either understand what he did or understand it was wrong, he would be not guilty by reason of insanity. As an alternative, a person would also be not guilty by reason of insanity if he did not have the ability to control his actions. These defenses are highly complex and require expert testimony. Any jury that considers the defense of insanity must also be permitted to consider whether the defendant was guilty but mentally ill, as opposed to insane.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorneys Specializing in Felony and Misdemeanor Representation

The dedicated, experienced and fearless defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented countless misdemeanor and felony charges in the state of Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing high quality and aggressive representation. Our track record for successful representation is unparalleled and we would welcome an opportunity to consult with you regarding charges against you or a loved one.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

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