What is an innocence defense and how does it work?

Are you able to provide a defense against any criminal charge? The quick answer is yes, even if you think the case is completely against you. There are more ways than one to defend a person against charges, some of which have to do with how a person is interviewed by police or if the person’s rights were violated in any way. Besides finding a flaw in how your case is being handled, you have a few standard defense options that your attorney can discuss with you.

The main defense to consider is a claim of innocence. Can you prove that you didn’t do the crime? Were you away in another state, off somewhere with friends or otherwise occupied?

A claim of innocence can work well for you if the other party doesn’t have solid evidence to convict you. You can simply plead innocence and then refuse to say anything that could be incriminating. In the U.S. courts, you are innocent until proven guilty, so this can be a helpful tactic.

The other party needs to prove your guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury that you didn’t commit the crime, then you should, by law, be found innocent. During your defense, you’ll want to focus on developing a story that shows why you can’t be the person who committed the crime. If you can put doubts into the minds of others, you can protect yourself.

A good way to do that is to use an alibi. An alibi is a person who was with you at the time of the crime and can prove you were innocent by not being at the scene. For instance, if you were driving with a friend, you couldn’t have committed a crime inside someone’s home.

The complexity of your case often determines the defense strategy your attorney will use, so make sure you share all relevant information with him or her.

Source: FindLaw, “Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge,” accessed Feb. 24, 2016