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Options For Presenting A Violent Crime Defense

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When a violent crime defense attorney examines the case against a prospective client, one of the first issues they have to address is how they plan to approach the issue. There are several ways to approach a violent crime defense, and it's worth considering each one's implications.

Nothing Happened

This approach largely depends on how confident you are that no evidence is going to emerge. Bear in mind that evidence appears even against innocent people. Acknowledging that evidence might be on its way isn't the same as admitting guilt. The goal of going with "nothing happened" as a defense is to force the prosecution to build its case. It's best to only go this direction if the bulk of the case against you is circumstantial and driven by witness testimony.

Wrong Person

The next argument worth considering is that maybe something happened, but it didn't involve you. This kind of violent crime defense works best when most of the supporting evidence comes from things like video feeds.


Instead of questioning what happened or your alleged involvement, this approach takes issue with whether you had a right to do something. It's usually best presented in situations where violent acts didn't go too far because there's always a point at which conduct ceases to be self-defense and becomes criminal assault. You should also be able to present some evidence that you were defending yourself, such as surveillance footage showing the other party's actions or texts demonstrating that you were threatened prior to the incident.

Pleading the Charge Down

This isn't so much a pure defense as it is exercising a potential option. Most prosecutors want to get cases off the docket, and taking a guilty plea allows them to rack one up in the win column. For example, assault and battery might be reduced to simple assault. Generally, these sorts of pleas come with stipulations, such as entering into anger management or drug and alcohol counseling. You'll have to meet all the stipulations, or else the original charges can be reinstated.

Diversion Programs

Another option that may be available, especially for younger defendants, is diversion. This involves pleading guilty to the charges in exchange for a reduced or suspended sentence. As with pleading down the charges, this approach usually requires a defendant to meet certain stipulations. The big difference is that the charges will usually come off your record if you play it by the book.