When an individual faces criminal charges, the normal reaction would be one of anxiousness, fear, confusion, and perhaps anger. Not only is there the surprise and embarrassment of the charges, there is the lack of understanding, for most, as to how the legal system works, and what the ultimate outcome will be. This, of course, is why it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance and advocacy.
The way a criminal defense case is built depends on the specific charges involved, the circumstances of the case, and the defendant’s interests. Defendants usually want to minimize the consequences of criminal charges as much as possible, and there are various strategies that can be employed for this purpose. Here we’ll briefly mention several ways.
One general area where a criminal defense attorney can work is in the area of facts or evidence. This involves the testimony, documents, and other items which prosecutors present in support of the charges. A variety of strategies are possible, depending on the case. We can only hint at some of these, such as providing an alternative set of facts to those presented by prosecutors, calling into question the credibility of prosecution’s witnesses and other evidence, suppressing illegally obtained evidence from trial, and generally pointing out flaws in prosecution’s case. Prosecutors, of course, must be able to present enough evidence to satisfy their burden of proof for the elements of each charge.
Questions of law are equally important, and can involve both procedural and substantive issues. In this area are things like ensuring the charges are brought to the proper venue, preserving legal issues for appeal, and seeing to it that the jury receives proper limiting instructions. Legal technicalities can make a big difference in the outcome of a criminal case.
Then there is the issue of advocacy, which is really the soul of any criminal defense strategy. Defense attorneys have the duty to zealously advocate for their clients, and the better they do this the better the rights and interest of their clients will be represented.