Criminal defense basics: The “I Didn't Do It Defense”

When someone is accused of a crime, he or she will always have the legal right to defend against the charges in court. Of course, deciding how to defend against the charges will depend on (1) the nature of the charges, (2) the strength of the evidence being used against the defendant and (3) the potential punishments in the event of a conviction.

Depending on the circumstances, some defendants will choose to deny the charges and use an "I didn't do it" style of defense. Here are three ways to say you didn't commit the crime:

Innocent until proven guilty: The burden of proof is on the prosecution. In fact, a defendant can plead the fifth amendment, say absolutely nothing at trial and still win his or her case if the prosecution cannot prove that he or she was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, simply staying silent isn't usually recommended, but this is an important premise to keep in mind during the criminal process.

Beyond a reasonable doubt: Another element of a defense was hinted at above. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This means that if a suspicion about guilt could remain, the court should rule that the defendant is innocent. For this reason, many criminal defendants focus on raising doubt about their guilt rather than trying to prove that they are innocent.

Claiming an alibi: An alibi is some form of proof that the defendant could not have committed the crime. This could be evidence that shows the defendant was in a different location at the time the crime occurred. That evidence could be a person who vouches for the defendant or a time-stamped receipt.

Were you accused of a crime in Denver? Don't delay in getting a handle on your charges and the best ways to defend yourself against the allegations.

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Criminal defense basics: The “I Didn't Do It Defense” | The Viorst Law Offices, P.C.