When a person is facing a criminal charge or an arrest, they still have several rights in New York. Some of these rights include the right to a speedy trial, the right to legal representation or counsel, and the right to remain silent. These rights are often critical when it comes to building a criminal defense.
There are various criminal defenses available in New York. Each defense is based on different circumstances and facts. There are two types of defenses a criminal defense, which negates parts of the elements of the charge. The second type of defense is an Affirmative defense, which is introduced; and if found to be credible, negates criminal liability. In this blog, we are going to discuss some of the common types of affirmative defenses in New York.
Alibi defense is one of the common criminal defenses available in New York. The alibi defense is a defense that claims the defendant was not at the scene of the crime when the crime occurred. The defendant must provide evidence that they were elsewhere during the time the crime was committed. To succeed with the alibi defense, the defendant must provide solid evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s case, such as video surveillance footage, eyewitnesses, or credit card receipts.
Self-defense is another common criminal defense in New York. The self-defense strategy is where the defendant justifies their actions by showing that they acted in self-defense. In New York, self-defense is only permitted when the defendant is under imminent and reasonable threat of physical harm or danger. The use of deadly force is only justifiable when there is an immediate danger of extreme harm or death to oneself or another person.
The burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that they acted in self-defense. Facts that support a self-defense claim can include injuries sustained, disproportionate retaliation, or the existence of a weapon.
The insanity defense is a criminal defense that seeks to excuse a defendant’s conduct because they were not sane or did not understand the consequences of their actions at the time the crime occurred. The defense appeals to the mental capacity of the defendant when they committed the crime. To qualify for an insanity defense, the defendant must prove that they were not in the right mental state and, as a result, did not understand the nature and quality of the act they committed. Another requirement is that the defendant’s mental state existed at the time the crime was committed.
The Statute of limitations defense
The Statute of limitations defense is a legal defense that relies on the claim that the state has delayed too long before bringing legal action against the defendant. Each offense has a different statute of limitations. The statute defines the time in which prosecution can be commenced from the date of commission of the offense.
If the prosecution has failed to begin the legal process within the specified statute of limitations, the defendant might be able to have their criminal charges under the statute dismissed. In this case, after the statute of limitations expires, it becomes unenforceable in a court of law.
Entrapment defense applies when the defendant claims that they were induced into committing a crime by an undercover law enforcement officer or another party. Entrapment involves the police encouraging or causing a person to commit a crime that they would not otherwise have committed.
The burden of proof is on the defendant for the entrapment defense. To succeed, the defendant must show that the police or the government’s behavior was beyond what they would have done if the defendant had committed the crime on their accord without leading them on.
Duress or Coercion Defense
The duress or coercion defense is a legal defense where the defendant claims that they committed a crime due to the fear of immediate physical harm or danger to themselves or their loved ones. In this defense, the defendant must prove that their actions were only taken to save their life or prevent serious injury or death.
A defendant who claims the duress defense must have a fear of serious bodily harm or death, and the fear must be immediate, and there must be no safe avenue for escape. A guilty plea can also be used alongside duress or coercion and can significantly reduce the severity of the sentence.
Fight your Criminal Charges today
The affirmative defense strategies above are a few of the many strategies to choose from for someone charged with a criminal offense in New York. A defendant can possibly use a combination of these defenses or just one defense, depending on the evidence and the nature of the crime committed.
Being accused of a criminal offense can be a life-changing experience, and the defendant must have a strong and experienced criminal defense attorney on their side.
At Law Office of Gina M Wicik we will help you understand the charges brought against you, create a viable defense strategy, and negotiate favorable outcomes when possible. We are experienced, affordable and reliable criminal defense law firm in New York. Having attorney is crucial when charged with a criminal offense even if you think you are innocent.