First, Orlando citizens never want to attempt to defend criminal charges on their own. They should do their research and select a good criminal defense attorney with a good track record. The stakes are high, and the percentage of a good outcome rises substantially with a good attorney.
Keep in mind that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty, and it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove that they are not just guilty — guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is stressed to a jury when a criminal trial begins.
There two different defense postures that one usually takes in criminal charges. Either they didn’t commit the crime and are not guilty, or they did commit the crime but are not responsible for one reason or another.
If they claim they are not guilty, do they have an alibi? Is there evidence that they were at another location or could not possibly have committed the crime for another reason. If doubt can be created in the jury’s mind, the jury has a responsibility to come back with a “not guilty” verdict.
There are many reasons why a person may have committed a criminal act but should be found innocent in the eyes of the law. For instance, self-defense in a violent crime is usually lawful because people have a right to defend themselves. In Florida, many people have used the “Stand Your Ground” law as their defense. This law specifically allows for someone to use self-defense instead of backing down in a threatening situation.
Entrapment is another defense that can be used. If law officials have enticed a person to commit a crime that ordinarily he or she would not have committed, he or she can use this defense. The prosecutor will try to contend that the person would have committed the crime anyway and that their “sting” operation was legitimate.
Insanity is another defense that is sometimes used in criminal trials. If a person was suffering from a mental issue, either temporary or permanent, and is assumed to have not been able to “distinguish right from wrong,” they may be held unaccountable. This is also similar to a defense of being “under the influence.” A person can claim to have not known what he or she was doing because he or she was “under the influence” of medical drugs or other sources.
Source: FindLaw, “Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge” Sep. 11, 2014