Possible Defenses in Criminal Cases – Part III

By November 14, 2018 May 24th, 2019 blog post, Defenses in Criminal Cases

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.

Any defendant charged with a felony or misdemeanor is presumed to be innocent unless the prosecution proves him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether at trial or in negotiations for a misdemeanor, a defendant has a right to present a defense. In Michigan, there are many defenses available in a criminal case and an experienced and successful defense lawyer will know how to analyze a client’s situation and build the strongest possible defense.

The thing that separates a good defense attorney from a great defense lawyer is the time, energy and skill put into proactively developing a defense and taking the steps necessary to admit that defense effectively at trial. If a prosecutor sees a defense attorney building a credible defense, he or she may elect to simply dismiss all charges rather than lose a bogus charge at trial.

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

Consent as a Defense

There are many reasons why a consensual sexual encounter can turn into an allegation of sexual assault. In some cases, people are caught in affairs and decide to claim “rape” to avoid problems with a spouse. In other cases, an impromptu and unplanned sexual encounter can turn sour and then a claim of assault is made out of retribution. There are many scenarios whereby a voluntary sexual act might later be falsely claimed as an attack. These cases are always very complex to defend because there is usually physical evidence that a sexual act took place. The question is one of consent and if a jury finds that the alleged victim actually and voluntarily agreed to engage in sexual relations, the defendant must be found not guilty! An experienced defense lawyer will know what evidence to look for and what proofs will be most compelling to the prosecutor when seeking dismissal or to a jury when the defense is fighting for an acquittal at trial.

The Statute of Limitations Can Result in Dismissal

The statute of limitations can be very confusing, even for many lawyers. Generally, the statute of limitations in Michigan for most ordinance violations, misdemeanors and felonies is 6 years. This means that charges must be filed within 6 years, not that the defendant has to be arrested within that time frame. There are other crimes that have 10-year limitation and some offenses punishable by life in prison are not subject to any statute of limitations. To make matters more complicated, offenses committed against minors may not have limitations that start until the child turns 18. In addition, if the defendant leaves Michigan, any time out of the state is not included in the time calculations.

Abandonment and Withdrawal as a Defense

When a person is charged with a criminal offense, he may be able to successfully argue that he is not guilty if he voluntarily abandoned his effort to commit the crime or took steps to prevent it from taking place. This defense can also be a partial defense in the sense that a defendant who starts to commit a crime but then voluntarily and completely withdraws before it is completed may be guilty of an attempted offense, but not the actual completed crime. This can reduce possible punishment and a prosecutor who sees that a defendant voluntarily withdrew from a crime may be more flexible in plea negotiations.

Actual Innocence (mistake, accident, lack of intent, etc…)

A defendant may not have done anything wrong or illegal. Every felony and misdemeanor has elements or parts that the prosecution must prove. If one of the parts is factually unsupportable, the defendant is not guilty. For most crimes, the defendant must have intended to commit the crime. If the act was a mistake or accident, the defendant is simply innocent and the case should be dismissed or he should be acquitted at trial. Shockingly, many lawyers who are afraid to fight take measures to scare and manipulate a client to take a plea bargain even if that person is totally innocent. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will never push an innocent client to take a plea and we will fight to defend you against any odds. If you are innocent, lets go for the win in court if the prosecutor will not agree to dismiss the charge.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorneys Specializing in Felony and Misdemeanor Representation

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is Michigan’s premier and highly respected defense law firm. We have an unparalleled record of successfully defending clients charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses in state and federal court. When there is no room for errors and false promises and you need someone to fight for you like family, call us for help. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality, aggressive representation.

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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