A defense attorney (whether court-appointed or private) begins their case investigation by meeting with the defendant and getting as much information about the case as possible through them. Then,, they research relevant laws and police procedures to determine how the prosecution obtained their evidence.
They poke holes in the prosecution’s arguments and present counterarguments to cast doubt on their client’s guilt to judges and juries.
A criminal defense attorney’s most important job is to protect their client’s innocence. They are not allowed to say that their client didn’t commit the crime, but they can present evidence that casts doubt upon the prosecutor’s case. For example, they may challenge the integrity of a piece of evidence by questioning how it was collected or presenting information that contradicts it. They also may argue that police and prosecutors violated the case’s chain of custody procedures with evidence or that it was obtained illegally. However, it is essential to note that a defense lawyer cannot ethically know whether their client is innocent. Our justice system operates on the principle that “innocent until proven guilty.” Only judges and citizens decide guilt or innocence in a trial. Volusia County criminal defense attorney can make the case that their client did not commit the crime and did not understand how serious it was. It includes arguments like insanity, entrapment, and self-defense.
A criminal defense attorney might employ an insanity defense for a client accused of a serious crime. It is considered an affirmative defense, meaning that the defendant admits to the offense but seeks to excuse their behavior by arguing that mental illness prevented them from knowing that the act was wrong. For this to succeed, the defense attorney must prove that the defendant could not understand that the action they committed was criminal or that their behavior was unacceptable by society at the time of the offense.
Proving this can be tricky since judges and juries are often skeptical of insanity pleas. They believe that defendants may be trying to dodge justice by pretending to be insane, even when highly severe mental illnesses played a part in the commission of the crime they are being accused of committing. To build this case, a defense lawyer must also access the defendant’s medical records.
Proving False Arrest
If a person is arrested and held against their will, without the proper legal justification, they could be the victim of wrongful arrest. It is a civil rights violation that can result in compensation. Criminal arrest cases often stem from tense confrontations between a civilian and police officers. In these situations, the police may allege that they observed you committing a crime, but you didn’t. They may also say that you obstructed government administration by getting in their way while trying to clear an area. In these instances, a defense attorney will seek to prove that the police didn’t have probable cause or consent to take you into custody. They can do this by presenting contradictory evidence and establishing that you didn’t commit the offense. For example, if you insulted a police officer and they became angry, this is not a sufficient reason to arrest you. It must be something more like shoplifting or other crimes that require a reasonable person to believe you did them.
A defense attorney must establish that their client acted in self-defense in a situation that threatened them with severe injury or death. They must also show that deadly force was proportionate to the circumstances. It is often a difficult task. Especially if the client was cornered, they must prove that they did not retreat and that their only option was to fight back with deadly force. To make this case, a defense attorney should carefully examine the facts and evidence. They should look at photographs, sketches to scale, blood spatter analysis, and expert analysis from physicians, medical examiners, and gunshot residue experts. They should also consider the aggressor’s relative height, weight, and build compared to the defender, distance, obstacles, cover, and escape routes. They may also want to present a study on reaction times because the defender must react to the threatening actions of the aggressor. If they take less time, the jury may conclude their measures were reasonable.