Every criminal case is different and requires different defense tactics. One case may win with an insanity defense, while another may win with one of self-defense. Start by sitting down, having a serious talk with your lawyer and considering these 4 methods.
Discuss Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Many criminal defense cases are built on the thoughts and emotions of the criminals as they committed their acts. It’s important for the jury to sympathize with them and see them as people. Build an emotionally based defense that focuses on your state of mind before, during and after the crime was committed.
Psychiatrists state that most people go through temporary periods of mental instability. During these episodes, they do things that they would not usually do. Include a list of personal strengths and weaknesses that highlight how your personality usually is, instead of how it was when the crime happened.
Discuss Past Criminal History
The prosecutor will always look into your criminal history to prove regular patterns of bad behavior. If there are criminal convictions in your past, it’s best to come out with it because your lawyer will find out eventually. Explain the details of the conviction along with the circumstances surrounding it. A criminal defense attorney must prepare good defending comments if or when the prosecutor brings it up in court.
Discuss Past History of Abuse, Neglect and/or Violence
Many criminals have histories of repeated abuse, neglect or violence that they are too familiar with. Many claim to have been brought up not knowing any other way of life. Although you may still be convicted for a serious crime, the severity of your punishment will be significantly reduced if you show evidence of abuse or misfortune. This type of defense can demote a life sentence to only one or two decades in prison.
Discuss Your Current State
Discuss how things have changed since you were accused of the crime, including both positive and negative changes. Mention your current state of mind and how your attitudes toward the victim, your family and society have changed. In some cases, the judge and jury have shown sympathy for defendants who’ve proven that they have shown remorse and plan to stay out of trouble.
Talking about the details of your legal case is more effective than not talking about it all and letting a defense attorney do all of the work. Think of any and every strategy to defeat the case that the prosecutor has spent months building against you. The only way to build a solid defense is to have a close, face-to-face discussion with your lawyer.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.