Common Defenses to a Criminal Case
If you have been charged with any crime in the state of Florida, contacting a criminal lawyer in Miami is critical. A criminal charge can have serious ramifications, including costly fees, jail time and a permanent record.
Whether it is your first offense or you are a repeat offender, Miami criminal defense lawyers can challenge the charges that have been brought up against you on either constitutional, statutory or administrative grounds.
Types of Defenses for a Criminal Charge
Whether they are challenged on constitutional, statutory or administrative grounds, the defenses used to challenge a criminal charge will fall into one of two categories:
- Pretrial Defense
- Trial Defense
Pretrial defenses are those defenses that are raised before a case proceeds to trial. Their goal is to call into question the legality of how the evidence that will be used against you was obtained, and whether that evidence was sufficient enough to charge you with the crime.
There are several types of Pretrial Defenses that can be used to support your case, including:
- Illegal search and seizure – your person or your property was illegal searched and the evidence that was procured was illegally seized.
- Self-defense – the crime that you committed was the result of self-defense
- The statute of limitations were surpassed
- You were stopped without a warrant
- You were not granted a speedy trial
Generally speaking, any pretrial defense will be raised through a Motion to Suppress or a Motion to Dismiss. All defenses will not lead to the outright dismissal of your case, sometimes a defense can lead to key pieces of evidence being suppressed, which can improve your chances of having a more successful outcome at trial.
Trial defenses are those defenses that are raised during a trial. These defenses can either call into question the affirmative defense of a crime, or can challenge the sufficiency of evidence.
Depending on the circumstances, a person may be able to raise an Affirmative Defense. This type of defense doesn’t deny the fact that an offense occurred; however, it does show that the conduct that lead to the offense was legally justifiable. Common Affirmative Defenses include:
- An alibi
- Self defense
When any type of affirmative defense is made, evidence that supports that specific defense must be presented.
A reputable criminal law firm in Miami will be able to choose the best defense for your criminal charges, thus improving the outcome of your case.