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Whether this is your first criminal accusation or you have some experience with the criminal justice system, your criminal case can be challenged on constitutional, statutory, or administrative grounds. Some of these defenses are pretrial and some can only be raised during trial.
The most common Pretrial Defenses are:
– Illegal Search and Seizure
– Self Defense
– Speedy Trial Violation
– Statute of Limitations
– Warrantless Stop
In general, these pretrial defenses are raised through either a:
– Motion to Suppress or
– Motion to Dismiss
Not every available defense will result in the outright dismissal of a case; but the prosecution needs all of its evidence to prove a crime, prevent an appeal, and build a strong case for trial.
So if one link in the State’s case is successfully challenged at the pretrial stage, resulting in key evidence being suppressed, the State may be unable to prosecute you as charged, be forced to negotiate a favorable plea, or be unable to prove their case at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
1 Raise an Affirmative Defense to a Crime; or
2 Challenge the Sufficiency of the Evidence.
Under certain circumstances, Florida law allows a person to raise an Affirmative Defense, which does not deny that an offense occurred, but that the conduct was legally justified. The most well-known is the Stand Your Ground defense.
The most common Affirmative Defenses are:
– Advice of Counsel
– Self Defense
When an Affirmative Defense is raised, the defendant must present some evidence to support the defense. If such evidence is presented, the burden shifts back to the State to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable.
By far, the most common trial defense is that a case cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
And not only must the prosecutor prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So if a pretrial defense was granted, the State may have a difficult time proving an element of a crime at trial.
Whether this is your first criminal accusation or you have some experience with the criminal justice system, your criminal lawyer needs to have experience, proven results and have the commitment to see your case through.