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What are the options for criminal defense?

Defending yourself against a criminal charge is possible if you know where to start. There are a few basic defenses that could work in your case, or your attorney may want to help you come up with something more unique for your situation. The two most basic defenses are "I didn't do it," and "I did it, but I shouldn't be held accountable."

When you claim that you didn't do the act that you've been accused of, you will need to know a few things. First, you are always assumed innocent until proven guilty, so it's possible that you never have to say a word. It's up to the prosecution to figure out a way to show you're guilty.

The prosecution needs to show that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that if there is any doubt that you could have committed the crime, you can't be found guilty.

To help yourself create doubt about the situation, it's a good idea to have evidence, like a video alibi, of your whereabouts. For example, if you were making a video for YouTube at the time you're accused of participating in a crime, it's possible to get the time stamp from that video to prove your innocence.

You can also choose to admit your guilt and say you did take part in a crime but that you shouldn't be held responsible. Self-defense can be a good choice for a defense against a violent act, and claiming insanity could be a potential defense if you have a history of mental health disorders. This can be a difficult defense to use, and your attorney will discuss if this or other options are better for your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge," accessed Jan. 24, 2017

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