Once you have been formally accused of a crime you become the defendant. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to offer up a defense. You also have the option to “remain silent” and make the prosecution prove that you are guilty. If you think your chances of being convicted are pretty good, you can choose to negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced or to bargain to receive the minimal penalty allowed by the law.
If you choose to propose a defense your attorney can do so at any stage of the judgement, from the grand jury hearing up to and including the trial date. The strategy of the timing can be critical to the case.
There are several options open to you and your defense attorney. Claiming that the prosecution’s allegations are unfounded amounts to entering a plea of not guilty, and places the obligation of producing evidence and testimony that will prove your guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.
Another approach may be to register an “ affirmative defense,” in which you basically admit that you committed the crime but that you did so under extenuating circumstances which should excuse you from guilt. Examples of such a defense could include situations of duress, self defense or intoxication.
Every defendant accused of a crime is entitled to certain rights in accordance with the amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If any of these rights are breached at any time during the investigation, arrest, or trial it can change the outcome of the litigation. If a search of a defendant’s property was conducted without a proper warrant for instance, it would be considered an infraction of the defendants 4th amendment right, and would mean that any evidence found during the search could not be used against him. Any unconstitutional action will be recorded and could affect the outcome of a future court appearance involving the same defendant. If a defendant suspects that he has been denied any of his constitutional rights, he should let his lawyer know asap.
A criminal attorney associate of Parker Lawyers will be able to advise you of all the legal rights you as a defendant are entitled to. Call for legal help @ 303-841-9525.