Every defense attorney has a similar array of legal strategies to choose from when defending an accused person in a criminal action. However, every lawyer, every case and every client are different. As such, the legal strategies a lawyer chooses in the defense of a particular case will need to be tailored to the unique circumstances of the client and case. That said, what are some of the most common legal defenses tactics used by attorneys when defending a criminal matter?

In the first category of defenses we will discuss are the “I Didn’t Do It” defenses. Here, the notion of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt applies. The court, including the jury and the judge, in your case must assume that you are completely innocent of the crime until — and only if — the prosecution is able to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant might even “Plead the Fifth” and not say anything in his or her defense, and still win the case.

However, by illuminating a sufficient amount of doubt through various legal arguments, defendants might be able to maintain their innocence. Another common “I Didn’t Do It” defense is to supply an alibi who can vouch for you being somewhere else at the time the crime occurred.

The second category of criminal defenses are informally called the ‘I did it, but shouldn’t be held responsible” defenses. This involves admitting to committing the criminal act, but at the same time providing a reason or excuse for coming it. For example, if an individual is accused of hurting someone, he or she might be able to say that the violent act was committed out of self-defense. In addition, there are the defenses of insanity and entrapment.

Ultimately, a detailed analysis of eyewitness reports, police reports and other factual evidence will reveal a suitable defense strategy to for a particular Minnesota case.

Source: Findlaw, “Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge,” accessed June 05, 2015