Two Ways Of Defending Criminal Charges: Disputing The Prosecution’s Case And Affirmative Defenses
If you are facing criminal charges, the first thing you need to do is retain a skilled criminal defense attorney. After you retain an attorney, they will assess your case to understand the charges against you. Then, they will determine the best defense strategy to use. A criminal defense attorney can either dispute the prosecution’s case or use an affirmative defense in a criminal case. Read on to learn more.
What the Prosecution Must Prove in a Criminal Case
The prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in any criminal case. But what exactly does it mean to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt? Proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt means convincing the jury that there isn’t any other reasonable explanation that can come from the evidence presented. In other words, for a defendant to be found guilty, the prosecutor must present a case that removes any reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind that the defendant is guilty of the offense in question.
As it pertains to the elements that must be proven in a criminal case, the prosecution must prove each of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant can be found guilty.
Defending Against Criminal Charges
As already mentioned, a criminal defense attorney can defend a criminal case by either disputing the prosecution’s case or using affirmative defenses. For example, to dispute the prosecution’s case, a criminal defense attorney may choose to challenge a witness on the accuracy of what they claim they saw. In other words, defending against criminal charges by disputing the prosecution’s case involves trying to defeat the prosecution’s goal of proving each element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. It involves a criminal defense attorney trying to prove that the defendant did not commit the crime they are accused of committing.
On the other hand, when a criminal defense attorney uses an affirmative defense, they are not trying to argue that the defendant did not commit the crime they are being accused of committing. Instead, they are trying to argue that the defendant committed the crime but that they were somehow justified to commit the crime. In the U.S., some situations allow defendants to act in certain ways.
When a criminal defense attorney uses an affirmative defense, they do so with the aim of securing an acquittal for the defendant, even if the prosecution is able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The following are some common affirmative defenses used in criminal cases;
- Mistake of fact
- The statute of limitations
It is crucial to note that when the defense side raises an affirmative defense, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecutor to the defendant. However, this burden of proof is usually lesser than the one that a prosecutor must meet before a defendant can be convicted.
Contact a London Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing criminal charges and need help fighting those charges, our skilled and dedicated London criminal defense attorney at Cessna & George Law Firm can help you. We can help you determine the best defense strategy to use in your case. Contact us today at 606-770-5400 to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.