The most common defenses of Crimes charged in California. For those charged with crimes in Porterville, Tulare, Visalia, Fresno, Hanford, Corcoran, and Lemoore the Law offices of Christopher Martens is prepared to present and defend your case. Here is a list of some of the most common defenses to criminal charges.
Accident - Under California law crimes must be committed “willfully” that means the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally committed the wrong doing by willingly committing a certain act. For example an assault as defined in Penal code PC 240 “is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Here if you hit or attempt to strike another person you have committed an assault. However, if you accidentally bump into them, even if you injure them you have not committed an assault. You did not intent to contact that person and you cannot be held criminally liable.
Alibi - If you were in another location at the time the crime was committed and there is evidence to show that you could not have been there at the time the crime was committed you have an alibi and if believed cannot be convicted of committing that crime.
Coerced Confessions - If the police use unlawful methods such as force and coercion such as false promises leniency (more than simple lies of fabrications) the false confession can be explained or even excluded due to police misconduct. It is important to keep in mind that the police are permitted and even encouraged by the district attorney and the court to fabricate and make up evidence to manipulate a suspect into confessing to a crime. It is crucial that you contact the Law offices of Christopher Martens in Visalia or Hanford before speaking to the police.
Double Jeopardy - Under the constitution of the United States and California you may only be tried or convicted once for any alleged criminal activity. Multiple prosecutions for the same offense are barred from prosecutions.
Duress - Under certain circumstances a defendant only acted in a criminal matter because his life was put in danger by others forcing him to commit a crime out of fear that they or their family was threatened, and that otherwise would not have committed the crime.
Entrapment - It is unconstitutional for the police to entrap you into committing a crime. Law enforcement may only create the opportunity to commit a crime, they may not attempt to persuade you or force you to commit a crime and then arrest, charge, or prosecute you for that charge. One common example of entrapment is where an under cover office as a person to obtain drugs for him, and after multiple refusals the suspect finally relents and procures drugs for the undercover officer. Because the subject initial and repeatedly rebuffed the request to commit a crime courts have held that it is wrong to convict crime that was “created” by law enforcement.
False Accusation - Motive often exist to falsely accuse another person of a crime. This often happens where one spouse suspects the other of cheating on them leading to a false accusation of domestic violence. In a bitter custody battle one parent may falsely accuse the other of sexual misconduct in-order to gain an advantage. During divorce proceedings one spouse may accuse the other of financial wrong doing or even go so far as to say they were threatened to stalked.
Wrongful arrest - Certain crimes such as Penal Code PC 69 requires that the arrest be lawful. Lawful means that the office had probable cause to arrest the person and did so by using reasonable force and not excessive force.
Insanity - If the defendant didn’t understand that what he was doing was wrong because he or she cannot distinguish right from wrong or they are unable to understate the nature of his or her act they may have a insanity defense.
Mistaken identity - Being at the wrong place or wrong time. You may not be the person who committed the crime, but were mistaken for that person by law enforcement or other witnesses. You might look similar to the person who committed the crime. Often witnesses will add facts to their statement because of what they heard from other people assuming what they heard was true.
Self defense - In cases where defendants are accused of assault, battery, assault with a weapon, or using a deadly weapon; it is a defense that person was only protecting them self or others from harm. In situation where you are in danger of physical harm you may use reasonable force to defend your self. In most cases reasonable force is the same type of force that is being used against you. If a person is striking you with there fist, you may strike them back in-order to defend your self. If a person is using a deadly weapon to assault you, than you would be justified I using deadly force to defend yourself. It is not lawful to use deadly force to protect property or in response to threats that are not life threatening. Using excessive force may subject you to criminal prosecution.