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Criminal defense strategies to protect a defendant's rights

When residents in New York are accused of a crime, they may not only think about the potential impact the accusations might have on their personal and professional lives, but they might also be concerned about the penalties and consequences they could endure if convicted. The best way to reduce the impact of criminal allegations or a criminal conviction is by devising a strong criminal defense strategy.

How does a defendant initiate his or her criminal defense? In most cases, a defendant will seek legal guidance and may acquire legal representation. In order to determine the defense strategy that works best for him or her, the defendant may need to tell his or her side of the story. Though the facts of the alleged offense are certainly taken into consideration when developing a legal strategy, so too is the criminal background of the accused. Depending on their past allegations and convictions, a defendant may benefit more from one defense strategy over another.

When it comes to defense types, there are typically three strategies. First, a defendant could make an admission. This is where the accused admits to the crime of which they are accused. The next option is a complete denial. This occurs when a defendant denies all of the charges against him or her. In this defense, it is common to use an alibi and witness testimony that supports the defendant's claims.

The last defense strategy is to admit and explain. This option falls somewhere between the other two strategies and will often involve admissions and denials. In addition, it normally involves a legal justification for the suspected crime.

No matter what type of defense strategy a defendant chooses, he or she should understand the possible outcomes of each legal route. In addition, he or she should be aware of other steps he or she could take in each strategy, such as investigating, dismissing evidence and plea bargaining. This will help ensure that the rights and interests of the defendant are protected during the criminal defense process and, hopefully, that a fair resolution is reached.

Source: FindLaw, "Criminal Defense Strategies," accessed Jan. 19, 2015

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