Nothing in life is as simple as it first may seem. We see that play out in the courtroom on a regular basis as criminal defense attorneys. Our forefathers, who created the criminal justice system that we have today, were insightful enough to build a judicial system based on the foundation that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

To protect those charged with a crime, both sides of a criminal case have a right to fair legal representation. That is where criminal defense lawyers come in. While the prosecution works to prove guilt, the defense works to prove innocence, or at least a defense that reduces culpability.

Here are five common criminal defenses:

  • Innocence: Based on the foundation that everyone is innocent unless proven guilty, the work of a defense attorney is to knock down the prosecution’s case. This can be done by interjecting doubt about evidence or how that evidence was gathered or supplying evidence or alibi’s that support the defendant’s innocence.
  • IntoxicationIn Missouri, depending on the circumstances, it is possible to build a defense upon intoxication. The circumstance that matters most is whether the intoxication was voluntary or involuntary.
  • Self-defense: Missouri has a castle doctrine law, which means you have no duty to retreat from a threat within your home, or castle, but you do have a duty to attempt to retreat in public. Depending on these, and other circumstances, you may have a self-defense case.
  • Duress: In some criminal cases, the defense can convince a judge or jury that the accused committed a crime under the threat of death or injury by another.
  • Entrapment: Occasionally, undercover agents take things too far. While working to uncover a crime, they end up leading a person to do something they might have otherwise not done. That is entrapment.

When someone is accused of a criminal charge, it is important to stay calm and limit communications to only an experienced criminal attorney.