A large number of criminal prosecutions are based on eyewitness testimony and accusations from others. While television legal dramas and police procedurals show a great deal of crime solving with sophisticated forensic technology, the reality is that many accusations are inaccurate or even blatantly false. In such cases, there are several Legal Defenses that can be raised to fight criminal charges based on false allegations.
Often, the best way to fight false accusations is by instilling reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge or jury that you did not commit the alleged offense. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to present a strong alibi. A solid alibi typically consists of proof that you were not at the scene of the crime when it occurred, such as GPS data or receipts from restaurants, stores, etc. It also contains a witness statement that corroborates your alibi and provides more than one person’s viewpoint of the situation.
Another defense strategy is to raise a lack of criminal intent, or mens rea. This defense is typically available in cases such as driving while intoxicated, sexual assault, burglary, and murder. It involves arguing that you did not have the mental ability, as a result of mental illness, intoxication, or overriding emotion, to conform your actions to criminal law or form a specific intent to commit the offense.
Another possible legal defense is duress or coercion. This is commonly used in cases involving organized crime groups, mafia hit squads, etc. This is where you claim that someone else threatened force or violence on you and caused you to act against your better judgment. This type of defense is most effective when it is accompanied by a strong alibi and evidence of a changed mind, such as the defendant claiming that he or she abandoned the planned crime or withdrew from participation in order to avoid being caught.