There are few things that capture the attention of the media and the public like violent crimes. The sensational aspects of these crimes enrage the sensibilities of those learning the facts of the crime that typically have been filtered through the perspective of the prosecutor. However, the fact is that the true story involves a complexity of facts and the person accused often has a reasonable explanation for what happened, if he actually was involved in the crime at all.
A prosecutor must prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt, which actually presents ample opportunity for a person to present an effective defense. A person who is accused of a violent crime may assert a defense in a range from the fact that the law enforcement officers and prosecutors identified the wrong person to an assertion that the defendant did, in fact, do it, but should not be held criminally liable. Some of the common defenses include:
- The defendant could not have done it because he was somewhere else – Referred to as an alibi, this defense is used to prove that the prosecutor has filed charges against the wrong person. Although this is common on the big screen, it plays a much smaller role in most violent crime cases;
- Self-defense – A person in Georgia has the right to defend himself and others from the risk of harm. Many times, this defense is asserted in cases of assault, battery, or murder. With this defense, the defendant admits to inflicting the harm, but claims that the other person instigated the action that led to the harm that was inflicted. When this defense is asserted, it is crucial to identify:
- Who was the instigator in the altercation?
- Was the belief of the defendant reasonable that self-defense was necessary in response to the aggressive acts of the other person?
- Was the degree of force that the defendant exerted reasonable under the circumstances?
- Insanity defense – This is one of the most controversial defenses that is raised in a violent crimes case. This defense is based on the fact that the defendant did commit the acts in question, but at the time of the crime was not able to distinguish right from wrong. This defense is based on the defendant having a verifiable mental illness that can be demonstrated, typically through the testimony of a psychiatric expert. This defense leads to a person being found not guilty by reason of insanity, when effectively presented. A defendant who is found not guilty on these grounds generally will be sentenced to a mental institution until there is a clinical finding that he now is mentally sound.
Other defenses that might be raised include reasonable doubt, where evidence is introduced to demonstrate that someone else could have committed the crime. This is a very common defense in violent crimes cases, especially where the prosecutor’s case is based on circumstantial evidence.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Advocates on Behalf of its Clients
Violent crimes are prosecuted zealously by prosecutors, with additional resources dedicated to the investigation into and prosecution of this category of crimes. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. has the skill and resources to develop the most effective defense based on the unique circumstances of your case. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.