There are always two sides to a coin, and this applies to what people would consider crimes. Criminal defense is defined as factors that may cancel out the wrong of what would otherwise be considered a criminal act. Under criminal law in the U.S., an individual charged with a crime should have acted in a way that was dangerous or harmful to another person or willfully failed to act to prevent harm or danger to another person. This is called actus reus or “guilty act.” However, in some cases another requirement for an act to be considered criminal under the law is that there is an intent to do harm or mens rea, which means “guilty mind.” Many of the most common criminal defenses center on the absence of mens rea. Absence of intent is not required for crimes with strict liability, such as driving under the influence (DUI).
In most other cases, an effective criminal defense may result in the partial or total absolution of the defendant. This is why choosing the best possible defense lawyer is a top priority for anyone facing criminal charges. According to resources, it is crucial to get qualified legal representation with a deep understanding of criminal law to protect the rights of the accused. Depending on the crime, a conviction can carry long terms of incarceration and the curtailment of other types of freedom, such as eligibility for certain occupations. It is very important to avoid or at least reduce the severity of the applicable sanctions.
The most common criminal defenses emphasizes that there are mitigating circumstances that led to the commission of the crime, such as self-defense, under duress, insanity, necessity or lesser harm, legal duty, and lawful capacity of office. If the criminal defense lawyer succeeds in convincing the jury or the judge that the act was justifiable or introduces an element of reasonable doubt regarding the bad intentions of the defendant in the commission of the act, then it could very well lead to conviction for a lesser offense, or even better a dismissal or acquittal.