Four Common Defenses Against Criminal Charges
Otherwise honest, hardworking, and upright citizens in the community can find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Whether you are facing relatively minor charges or have been accused of a major crime, you need an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side.
In criminal court matters, the earlier we begin working on your behalf, the more likely we are to gather the information needed to get your charges reduced or dismissed. In the event your case does go to trial, the following are common defenses that may apply, depending on the particular situation.
You Did Not Commit the Crime
The most basic defense is claiming you did not commit the crime of which you are accused. This is common in all types of criminal cases and involves providing an alibi, showing you did not commit the crime, or were not in the area where it occurred. In any criminal court proceedings, we conduct thorough investigations, gathering witness testimony, DNA samples, fingerprints, and video from any nearby surveillance systems. These and items such as credit card statements, cell phone records, or store receipts may all be used to prove your claims. These same types of evidence may be used in situations in which you may have been at the crime scene, but you did not commit the acts of which you are accused.
You Acted in Self Defense
Under Section 2C:3-4c of the New Jersey Statutes, you have the right to protect your home or other property against intruders, which includes using force. This can also apply in cases in which you felt the safety and well being of yourself or others was threatened or in jeopardy. Again, witness testimony and video evidence may be used to support your version of events, as well as any injuries or property damages you may have suffered as a result. A common defense in assault cases, it is important to note that you do not have to actually prove the other person’s intent or that they had a weapon in their possession, only that you reasonably perceived a threat.
You Acted Under Duress
This is a common defense in which the person admits to wrongdoing but claims they were forced or coerced into their actions. For example, if you were even loosely affiliated with a street gang, you may have been pressured into committing a robbery or assault, knowing that if you refused you would have been facing certain harm. This defense may involve elements of extortion or blackmail, such as threatening to reveal information that would prove harmful to you unless you take certain actions. It may also apply in domestic violence cases in which the abuser forces the other party to commit illegal acts, such as carrying drugs or shoplifting.
Procedural Errors Were Made
This defense moves away from the issues of whether or not you were involved in a crime, toward how your actual arrest and court proceedings were handled. In the New Jersey Courts, there are procedural rules that must be followed when making arrests, detaining suspects, and bringing them to trial. If a mistake was made anywhere along the line, it could justify having your charges dropped or dismissed.
Get Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side
In any criminal proceeding, your freedom and your future well being are on the line. At the Law Office Of Jordan B. Rickards, we provide the aggressive legal representation you need to protect yourself. Reach out and call or contact our New Jersey criminal defense attorney online and request a confidential, one-on-one consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you today.