How to Build a Successful Defense Against Criminal Charges - Sand Law North Dakota
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How to Build a Successful Defense Against Criminal Charges

5th June 2023

Since the stakes are so high when it comes to criminal charges, you’ll want an attorney who can implement a sound defense strategy. A skilled lawyer can plant a seed of doubt in a jury’s mind in many ways. If jury members can’t find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they can’t convict you.

The attorneys with Sand Law have extensive experience helping clients achieve positive results in their cases. We’ll protect your rights and do all we can to help you defeat the prosecution’s case. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling 701-609-1510 or using our online contact form.

Choose the Right Jury

Jury selection, also known as voir dire, is a critical trial stage. Your defense attorney will work closely with you to identify potential jurors who may be more sympathetic or receptive to your case. This involves asking prospective jurors questions to assess their biases, attitudes, and experiences that could impact their ability to remain impartial.

For example, if you’re facing drug charges, you may want to avoid jurors who have had negative experiences with drugs or law enforcement. By strategically selecting jurors more likely to view your case favorably, you increase the chances of a fair evaluation of the evidence.

Here are some additional points to consider when selecting a jury:

Study the Juror Profiles

Before the jury selection begins, your defense attorney will likely receive a list of potential jurors’ names and basic demographic information. Your attorney will analyze this information to gain insights into potential biases or predispositions affecting their perception of the case. Age, occupation, education, and background can provide valuable clues about their perspectives and attitudes.

Assess Juror Questionnaires

Sometimes, jurors may be required to complete questionnaires that provide further information about their beliefs, experiences, and potential biases. Your attorney will carefully review these questionnaires to identify jurors who may be more sympathetic or open-minded toward your defense strategy. Look for indicators that align with your case’s particular issues, such as attitudes toward law enforcement or prior experiences related to the charges.

Observe Body Language and Demeanor

During the jury selection process, your defense attorney will be able to observe potential jurors’ body language and demeanor. Non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, and engagement can offer valuable insights into their potential receptiveness to your defense. Your attorney will look for attentive, engaged, and open-minded jurors.

Discredit the Prosecution’s Evidence

To undermine the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence, your defense attorney will thoroughly examine the evidence presented against you. This examination involves scrutinizing how the evidence was collected, handled, stored, and analyzed. Any lapses in procedure, contamination, or tampering may be grounds for challenging the validity and reliability of the evidence.

Discrediting the prosecution’s evidence is crucial to building a successful defense. These are a few methods of doing so.

Chain of Custody

Your defense attorney will closely examine the chain of custody of the evidence. This involves tracking the movement and handling of the evidence from when it was collected to its presentation in court. Any breaks or inconsistencies in the chain of custody can raise doubts about the integrity and reliability of the evidence. If there are lapses or unexplained gaps, your attorney can argue that the evidence may have been tampered with, contaminated, or compromised.

Inconsistencies or Contradictions

Your lawyer will review the prosecution’s evidence for inconsistencies, contradictions, or gaps. They’ll examine witness statements, police reports, forensic reports, and any other documents or evidence presented. By highlighting these inconsistencies, your attorney can undermine the coherence and reliability of the prosecution’s case.

Flawed Forensic Techniques

If the prosecution’s case relies on forensic evidence, your defense attorney may challenge the validity or reliability of the techniques used. This can involve bringing in expert witnesses who can critique the methods employed by the forensic experts. For example, they may question the accuracy of DNA analysis, fingerprint matching, or ballistics examinations. By raising doubts about the scientific validity of the forensic evidence, your defense can weaken the prosecution’s case.

Present an Alternative Theory

One effective defense strategy is presenting an alternative theory of the crime. This theory will align with the evidence yet offer a different explanation. Your defense attorney will carefully review the facts of the case, witness statements, and any available physical evidence to construct a plausible narrative that challenges the prosecution’s version of events.

Interview Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can provide specialized knowledge or expertise that can bolster your defense. Your defense attorney will identify and interview experts who can offer insights into your case’s technical, scientific, or other relevant aspects.

For example, a forensic expert could challenge the accuracy or reliability of the prosecution’s forensic analysis. An expert in psychology or eyewitness testimony may testify about factors that can lead to misidentification or false memories. These expert witnesses can help educate the jury and provide alternative explanations that support your defense theory.

Cross-Examine the Prosecution’s Witnesses

During the trial, your defense attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. They’ll question them to elicit information that supports your defense strategy or exposes weaknesses in their testimony.

Your attorney will carefully analyze the witness statements, inconsistencies, biases, or motives to challenge their credibility. By highlighting contradictions or biases, the defense can weaken the prosecution’s case and create doubt in the jury members’ minds.

Your defense attorney will thoroughly investigate the prosecution’s witnesses. This investigation may involve conducting background checks, examining their prior statements or actions, and more. Inconsistent or questionable behavior by the witnesses can be used to cast doubt on their testimonies.

Focus on the Burden of Proof

Let’s return to the critical phrase we mentioned when introducing this article – reasonable doubt. The prosecutor has the burden of proving you’re guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. They have to prove that the only reasonable explanation is that you committed the crime. As stated earlier, the jury can’t find you guilty if the prosecution can’t do this.

Your attorney may point out gaps or inconsistencies in the evidence or challenge the reliability of witnesses. They may also present counter-evidence to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. By consistently reminding the jury of the high standard of proof required, the defense can shift the focus onto the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Contact an Experienced Defense Attorney to Handle Your Criminal Charges

Building a successful defense against criminal charges requires the expertise of an experienced Sand Law criminal defense attorney. Our legal experts deeply understand the law, courtroom procedures, and strategies for building a solid defense. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will help prevent any mistakes after arrest, ensuring your case goes as smoothly as possible.

From the initial stages of analyzing the evidence to crafting persuasive arguments in court, a skilled Sand Law attorney will guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights. They’ll assess the specific circumstances of your case, develop a tailored defense strategy, and provide valuable advice on the best course of action.

Our firm has a proven track record in criminal defense. We’ll work passionately to increase your chances of achieving a successful result. Learn more by contacting us online or calling 701-609-1510 for a free consultation.