You have been accused of a crime. The police are either looking for you or they have just found you.

Now what?

No, I would not recommend running… they will find you.

Trying to fight them off is not a particularly good idea either… You will lose and end up with even more charges against you.

You might try coming up with a good story and rely on your Golden tongue to convince them to leave you alone. Of course, I would not advise it… These folks are professionals at this and you are not.

So, is the situation hopeless?

The fear may make it feel that way at the moment, but absolutely not. The time for you to protect yourself and do something about it is just about to come .

There are a variety of potential defenses which may be at your disposal.   You may not even be aware of many of them.

So…your first step?

You need to get yourself an experienced and skillful criminal defense attorney.

Attorney Sam’s Take on Defenses to Criminal “Justice”

The stakes of facing criminal charges are a serious matter.  You probably realize some of the consequences…particularly if you are found to be “guilty”.  You probably do not realize all of them…nor he fact that simply being charged has now altered your life regardless of any future verdict.  In my forthcoming blogs, we will examine all this.  For now, let’s review some potential defense strategies.   My advice from over 30 years of criminal practice?  Do it with your attorney.  Otherwise, you are likely about to lean why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

While there are many strategies defense attorneys use to help clients receive an acquittal, the four most commonly discussed include innocence, self-defense and constitutional violations.    Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

Innocence – “Hey, I didn’t Do It!”

The fact is that it is pretty easy to get arrested… innocent or guilty.  Therefore, it stands to reason that sometimes a person being accuse is actually innocent.  That is actually a viable defense!

Of course, the system does not really recognize the term “innocent”  very much.  The term used is “not guilty”.   They are now nearly the same thing which we will discuss in a future posting.  However, for purposes of a defense, or what one pleads in this instance, the term is “Not guilty”.

This is not always a simple defense.  I have had clients tell me that all they have to do is take the stand, tell the jury they “didn’t do it” and that will be that.

Well, that might be that…but that may be a conviction.  Many factors have to be weighed tactically when facing criminal charges.

“But, Sam, I thought we were presumed innocent.”

Yes, that is what they say, but take the use of the term “innocent” as a clue.   Reality is nor simple.  I find that it is more like assumed guilty.  At least until the actual trial.   Of course, that is much too late to begin thinking of a defense.

Your attorney will need to build a case around this defense to show you didn’t commit the crime. This strategy often involves the use of witnesses, experts, and even evidence to support your claim. In some cases, having a strong alibi witness can be enough. In other cases, the defense will provide viable evidence that another party could have committed the crime.

It does not work as smoothly as it does on tv.  Of course, each case is different, but it is still a viable defense…particularly if you actually did not commit the crime.

Self-defense – “Look, I had no choice!”

The self-defense strategy can be used when a defendant is accused of assault, battery, or even murder. Proving a defendant harmed or killed the victim to protect themselves or another person, from violent acts is a viable defense, but, again, it is not that simple.

The defense you have used in self-defense must ne at the same level of force as the original threat that you are acting against.  For example, if you are arguing with someone, and they pull out a knife, you cannot simply pull out the sub-machine gun you always walk around with to blow them away.

Keep in mind that the basis of your fear of the threat is an important issue as well.

Constitutional Violations-“Forget what I did…YOU broke  the rules!”

This is more of a limited defense.  If successful, it is possible you could get your case dismissed…but more likely get evidence suppressed so that the prosecution cannot use it.

Everyone is entitled to certain protections under the U.S. Constitution and, in Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. Violations of rules, such as how a defendant was treated, the circumstances of his or her arrest, and even how the evidence was collected to use against a defendant can be questioned in a hearing.  If the defense is successful, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss the charges or offer a plea bargain for a much less severe charge.

Some common violations include not being read Miranda rights, illegal searches, coerced confessions, and unduly suggestive identifications.

Remember, this approach renders the wrongfully obtained evidence unusable.  It, itself, does not mean the case gets dismissed.

As mentioned, it is foolish to try to decide on your own defense without talking to your lawyer.  It is also very foolish to try to make statements to law enforcement when you are a suspect without your lawyer’s aid.

I have been in this arena for over 30 years.  If you would like to contact me, please come to my website, www.samgoldberglaw.com.   In the meantime, as I come back from a hiatus of writing, feel free to let me know how you liked (or didn’t) this posting.

Talk to you soon!

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