Although it is quite common for those accused of criminal offenses to plead guilty, going to court to defend themselves is always an option, even when the prosecutor seems to have a strong case. There are countless ways for those accused of a criminal offense in Texas to defend themselves against those allegations.
They could provide an alibi that shows that they could not have been physically present at the time that the crime occurred. They could bring in expert witnesses to raise questions about how the prosecution analyzed or interpreted certain evidence. They might even challenge the inclusion of evidence if the police violated someone’s rights while gathering it.
In a situation where certain defense strategies would not work or where there is a significant amount of evidence connecting a defendant to a crime, an affirmative defense may be the best option available for a defendant hoping to avoid a conviction.
What is an affirmative defense?
In a traditional criminal defense strategy, a defendant works with their attorney to generate a reasonable doubt about their involvement in a crime or whether a crime occurred at all. In an affirmative defense scenario, the goal is to change how people view the incident. The defendant hopes to show that their actions were not actually a violation of the law.
Self-defense claims are one of the most common affirmative defense tactics. People claim that they acted out of necessity when they assaulted someone to protect themselves or their property. Coercion, involuntary intoxication and lack of capacity or insanity are also all affirmative defenses. The defendant does not try to prove that they were not the one responsible for the incident but instead shows that under Texas law, they technically didn’t break the law.
Affirmative defenses are all about perspective
When you can’t eliminate or undermine evidence that makes it look like you broke the law, giving the judge or jury a better understanding of the situation could help you avoid a conviction. An affirmative defense isn’t always the best option.
Those accused of serious criminal offenses and worried about the evidence against them will likely benefit from discussing the situation thoroughly with a lawyer familiar with Texas criminal law. Learning more about common criminal defense strategies can help you choose the best solution for your current situation.