A criminal conviction of any kind can tarnish your reputation for years to come. It can also result in substantial fines, a lengthy prison sentence, and other legal consequences. When you contact a law firm near Paterson, your criminal defense attorney will need to hear the details of the incident and the arrest. It’s important to fully disclose all relevant information. This allows your criminal defense attorney to begin crafting the most effective legal defense for your case.
Establishing an Alibi
Perhaps the most effective criminal defense is the alibi defense. Having an alibi means that you could not have committed the crime because you were somewhere else at the time. For instance, a defendant could not have assaulted his or her neighbor during a time at which the defendant was at a dentist appointment. The most effective alibis are those that can be proven with physical evidence. If you were at the dentist appointment, you may have a time-stamped receipt for the co-pay, for instance. Failing that, your dentist could testify that you were getting your teeth cleaned at the time of the crime. Even if you do not have evidence of an alibi, your defense lawyer may find a way to prove that you could not have committed the crime.
Failing to Prove Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
It may not be necessary to prove that you have an alibi if the prosecution lacks a strong case against you. In criminal cases, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. That is, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Your attorney at law does not necessarily have to prove your innocence, only that the prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence of your guilt.
Acting in Self-Defense
Some defendants can use the self-defense strategy in court. This criminal defense may work for charges such as assault, battery, manslaughter, or even murder. If your defense lawyer uses the self-defense strategy, it means that you admit to the crime, but that your actions were warranted to defend yourself from violence.