Criminal Defense Case Analysis

Criminal Defense Case Analysis

Criminal Defense Case Analysis Criminal Law/ 354 August 11, 2011 Barry Q. Brooks, J. D Criminal Defense Case Analysis Throughout this analysis will be discussed the justification used in criminal defenses. The factual and legal defenses will be briefly discussed along with the justification of necessity, self-defense, unlawful arrest and consent. Types of Defenses “A defense consists of evidence and arguments offered by a defendant on behalf of his or her attorneys to show why that he or she should not be held liable for a criminal charge” (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010).

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Factual Defense There are two types of defenses factual or legal. When a factual defense is used during a criminal trial the defendant and attorney are claiming to the court the defendant had nothing to do with the criminal offense that took place. As a result the defendant is seeking not to be held criminally liable for the charges brought forth by the state. The defendant might claim he or she was in another location during the time the crime occurred and may have an alibi as key piece of evidence (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Legal Defense

There are two forms of legal defense one is justifications, in which the defendant admits to committing the act in question but claims it was necessary in order to avoid some greater evil. To where as an excuse is when a defendant claims that some personal condition or circumstance at the time of the act was such that he or she should not be held accountable under the criminal law (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Justifications and excuses are affirmative defenses, that is, they must be raised or asserted by the defendant independently of any claims made by the prosecutor.

This is a variance from the general rule that places the burden of production and persuasion on the government. For affirmative defenses, defendants bear the burden of production, that is, they must assert the defense at the time required by law. Failure to raise an affirmative defense in a timely manner acts as a waiver of the defense. States vary about the burden of persuasion placed on the defendant. Some require the defendant to prove the defense; others shift the burden to the prosecution to disprove the defense (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010).

Necessity Necessity sets the grounds for each justification presented. When a defendant brings into play the necessity defense he or she is claiming the unlawful course of action taken was necessary as it prevented or assisted with avoiding a greater harm to the defendant or a third party (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Self-Defense When self-defense is used in a criminal trial the defendant must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their life was in imminent danger and there was no other means of escape but to use deadly force.

The law of self-defense generally provides that a person is justified in acting to defend himself under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe himself to be in danger. The claim of self-defense is usually unavailable to those who precipitate or incite an attack on themselves. In other words, one who initiates a confrontation cannot later be reasonably afforded the protection of a self-defense claim (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Defenses of Others The use of force to defend oneself has generally been extended to permit the use of reasonable force to defend others who are, or who appear to be, in imminent danger.

However, the defense of others, sometimes called defense of a third person, is circumscribed in some jurisdictions by the alter ego rule. The alter ego rule holds that a person can only defend a third party under circumstances and only to the degree that the third party could act (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Resisting an Unlawful Arrest Any individual who resists a lawful arrest in any state can be held criminally liable. But resisting an unlawful arrest in some jurisdictions is justifiable so long as the level of resistance and conditions coincide with that states laws.

In order to prevent an unlawful arrest certain states require an officer to inform the suspect of the charges brought forth and use a valid arrest warrant in situations where a warrant is required (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). Consent “The defense of consent makes the claim that the person suffering an injury either agreed to sustain the injury or accepted the possibility of injury before the activity was undertaken” (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010). The justification consent in a court trial is often used rape cases.

Many defendants claim that the other party consented to the sexual advances on behalf of the defendant and soon after sexual intercourse ensued. Soon after that the allegations began, for example the male defendant was to aggressive and so forth. Consent cannot be claimed in cases of intimidation or fraud. A person cannot, for example, be forced to give consent. Intimidation or the threatened use of force to obtain consent invalidates the consent given and may result in charges of extortion or blackmail against the threat maker (Schmalleger, Hall, Dolatowski, 2010).

Conclusion Within this reading was discussed the justification and excuses to ones defense used in the criminal justice courts system. Great debates have come about on whether or not these defenses are reasonable or not. Regardless of the crime committed whether it falls under factual or legal, evidence must be presented on either said. Reference Criminal Law Today, Fourth Edition, by Frank Schmalleger, Ph. D. and Daniel E. Hall, JJ. D. , ED. D. John J. Dolatowski, J. D. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.


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