Friday, August 14, 2015

3 Example Defenses You Can Use In A Criminal Court Case

Under our American legal system, individuals who have been charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty. If you are facing a criminal charge at the Lake of the Ozarks, you have many rights that go along with that presumption of innocence. Depending on the severity of your criminal charge, being found guilty can have serious consequences that forever change your life as you know it, including:
  • Hefty fines and county jail time
  • Life in prison and even death
  • A criminal record that will stay with you for the rest of your life
With such dire consequences at stake, it is critically important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in central Missouri as soon as you are charged with a crime, and even before being charged if you are the target of a criminal investigation.


There are several different categories of defenses to consider if you find yourself charged with a criminal offense. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to work with you to help determine which defense will be best for your specific case, but here is a quick look at some of them:

1. Alibi

If you didn't commit the crime and were not even at the scene of the alleged crime,  then the alibi defense should be considered. This is where you produce evidence that you were in a different place at the time the crime was committed, or you have a witness that can testify that you you were somewhere else at the time that the crime was committed and you could not be the person who committed the crime. Your Lake of the Ozarks criminal defense attorney may be able to help you determine if you have the evidence necessary to assert an alibi defense.

2. Mental Disease or Defect

Also known as the insanity defense, this defense acknowledges that you "did the act" but are not legally guilty of the crime due to a mental disease or defect that was so severe you were incapable of knowing and appreciating the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of your conduct. This is a very difficult defense and you will be required to prove your mental disease or defect through psychological evaluations, expert testimony, and witnesses who provide evidence on your behalf. If this defense is successful, you may still be required to spend a substantial amount of time confined, but in a mental institution rather than the department of corrections. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to help you determine if the not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect defense will be right for you and your case.

3. Self Defense

Intentionally injuring another person or taking another's life are typically illegal acts in this country, but our Missouri law of self defense allows for exceptions to that rule under very specific and limited circumstances. The law of self defense in Missouri is built upon a belief that we should be allowed to use varying degrees of physical force upon another person (subject to several exceptions and caveats that are too numerous to detail here) when necessary to defend ourselves or others. If you have been charged with a crime of violence, seek advice from your criminal defense lawyer in Camden County, MO to help you determine if you may be able claim self-defense.

Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney To Get Started

These are brief overviews of three of the many different types of defenses that may be asserted as defenses under certain circumstances.  If you have been charged with a crime or are the target of a criminal investigation and you do not have an attorney, you should talk to a criminal defense attorney who can assess your unique situation and help you determine which defense will best meet your specific situation. At O'Donnell Law Center, we have an experienced criminal defense team that you can speak with about assessing your case.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)

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