Each year in New York, thousands of people face criminal charges. From state and federal to felony and misdemeanor charges, the facts that form the basis of any given criminal charge can vary widely. Additionally, each year, new crimes are added to the criminal code. In short, there are many different types of conduct that can be classified as “criminal” in New York.
As a result, there are thousands of criminal defendants who find themselves in need of a plan for a criminal defense strategy. There are some common defense strategies that can be effective if a defendant decides that the best option is to fight the charges.
For starters, a defendant could assert the “truth” defense – as in, the defendant is telling the truth from his perspective, which is that he did not commit the crime in question. Or, simply put, the defendant is innocent of the crime charged. This defense can commonly include an “alibi,” which means that the defendant can prove that he wasn’t at the scene of the crime when the crime occurred, for example. Or, that the defendant was acting in self-defense, as another example, and was not the aggressor in a violent situation.
Another common strategy is for a defendant to say or explain absolutely nothing and let the prosecutor attempt to meet the incredibly high burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this strategy, the defendant’s attorney could attempt to undermine the credibility of prosecution witnesses, calling a doubt in the minds of jurors that the prosecution has proven every element of the crime charged.
Asserting a criminal defense can be a complex and delicate task. Thus, it is important that the accused understands their situation and what options they have when it comes to asserting a criminal defense.