Being accused of a crime is a difficult predicament to be in. It's not only tough to process, but many individuals in Iowa and elsewhere find it challenging to move forward. No matter the type or severity of crime a person is accused of, it is important to understand that each and every defendant is afforded the right to assert a defense. This not only protects the defendant's rights, but also provides them with the opportunity to reduce or dismiss the criminal charges against them.
What criminal defense options are available to defendants? A defendant could simply begin by telling the truth. While it is expected that those facing allegations of a crime will tell the truth in the criminal defense process, this method focuses on telling a detailed story of the events that has an end story with certain characteristics. This includes providing a truthful foundation that helps prove that the defendant is innocent, gaining sympathy from the judge or jury and providing evidence to prove the defendant's alibi.
A defendant could choose to deny any and all charges against them. This typically includes an alibi, helping to evidence that the defendant could not have committed the crime. On the other hand, a defendant could choose to make a confession or admit to the charges, but explain the situation, which could help give legal justification. Admitting to a crime could occur if a defendant is making a plea negation or if they are asserting an affirmative defense, such as self-defense.
When developing a criminal defense strategy, this requires more than just the details from the accused. Witness accounts and expert witnesses are often essential for a successful criminal defense. This could help prove the credibility of the defendant and witnesses, prove asserted facts and even help suppress evidence used against a defendant.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Criminal Defense Strategies," accessed May 14, 2017