9th Jul 2021
In order to convict an accused of a crime, it is important that the prosecutor must ascertain two vital issues: a crime was actually committed and the accused or the defendant is actually the one responsible for such crime.
These 2 essential elements are important in order for a criminal defense attorney to develop an effective strategy that will work in favor of the accused. And it is important that a criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade, Florida should know the right defenses to use and when to use them. In essence, the best legal defenses commonly fall on these 2 categories:
- Lack of evidence
- Procedural legal defense
Justification is the most common legal defense that a defendant may use. Basically, it means that the defendant actually did the act. However, he should not be held responsible for it on account of justifying circumstances.
In this case, it is important that this kind of defense should be best handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney so it can be addressed validly before the court of law where it can be appreciated with its legal standpoints.
The following are the most common justification defenses that can be raised:
It is lawful in Miami Dade, Florida to use force only to defend yourself, your property, or other persons. Thus, if there is unlawful provocation and imminent threat, it is justifiable to use force as it is necessary and in proportion to the threat received.
There are certain requisites in order to qualify an act to be that of self-defense. It is important that the act should be carefully assessed in order to quality for this defense.
This defense claims that the defendant was not in his right mind when he committed the crime. This means he did not have the mental capacity to do the act. This can be quite tricky to use especially on violent crime cases.
Thus, this may often require an expert testimony of a doctor or any professional who has expertise to clinically declare that the defendant is “insane”.
It is not enough that the defendant was in the height of his emotions when he did the crime. It should clearly state his mental incapacity. Once found guilty by reason of insanity, the defendant goes to a mental health facility, not prison.
- Mistake of Fact
Mistake of fact means that the facts as alleged in the crime are not accurate. This means that the defendant actually thought that he had permission to take something as opposed to the prosecution’s allegations that he stole it. Here, the defendant honestly believed that he did not commit any crime.
- Mistake of Law
Mistake of law also means that the defendant honestly believed that he did not commit any crime on the grounds that he believed that the law is different from what it is. However, this may be considered as a weak defense as “ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith”.
Entrapment is an act by which law enforcement officers induce or encourage a person to commit a crime especially when the potential criminal has no existing desire to do such an act. This type of defense often applies to drug cases and cybercrimes in Florida.
Duress is one of the most common justification defenses. This is where a defendant is forced to do a crime because there is threat or harm against him or his family. However, the defense of duress may only be availed if there is no other legal way for him to escape committing a crime but to also do another crime.
Using intoxication as a justification defense in Miami Dade, Florida is like walking on thin ice. Generally, the laws in Florida frowns upon intoxication as a defense. However, there are certain exceptions where this may be qualified as a valid defense; that is if the intoxication arises from a lawful medical prescription or if it is an involuntary intoxication.
Lack of Evidence
In Florida, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. This means that the prosecution must be able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant has committed the crime. In lay man’s term, this type of legal defense would mean that the defendant simply has to deny it and say that he had nothing to do with the crime. It is up to the prosecution to prove that there is enough evidence to show that the defendant is responsible for the crime.
Failure of the prosecution to do so could turn the entire case in favor of the defendant. If the defendant can also prove an alibi where he is nowhere in the scene of the crime, it can weaken the prosecution’s case.
Showing that the evidence presented by the prosecution is tainted, insufficient, or unrelated is tantamount to lack of evidence resulting to possible dismissal of the case.
Procedural Legal Defense
A procedural legal defense is used when there has been a misconduct during the criminal procedure. It is true that while an accused may be at risk of conviction of a crime, he still enjoys some constitutional rights that, if violated, may lead to a valid procedural legal defense. Some of the examples include a violation of the Fourth Amendment where the defendant may have experienced unlawful search and seizure or the violation of the Sixth Amendment where the accused did not have the right to a speedy trial.