If you are charged with a criminal offense by California authorities, the law presumes that you are innocent until proven guilty. To obtain a conviction, it must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated state law. There are several defenses that you may raise in an effort to create sufficient doubt to obtain an acquittal or some other favorable outcome in your case.
There was no intent to commit a crime
To obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must present evidence that you knowingly and willfully committed a crime. If you didn’t know that there were controlled substances in your vehicle, it may be enough to avoid a conviction for drug possession or trafficking. Alternatively, if you are in possession of substances that merely looked like cocaine, marijuana or other drugs, you might also argue that there was no intent to violate the law.
An effort was made to prevent additional harm
If you shot someone who was attempting to enter your home, you may be charged with attempted murder or similar crimes. However, as part of your criminal defense strategy, you may choose to argue that this occurred to prevent injury or death to yourself or others in the home. Depending on the facts in your case, taking action in self-defense may justify shooting at, injuring or killing another person.
If you are convicted of a crime, you may spend time in jail or prison, pay a fine or perform community service. You may also have difficulty finding work or housing as a result of having a criminal record. Therefore, making an effort to create sufficient doubt to obtain an acquittal or favorable plea deal may enable you to avoid a significant interruption to your life.