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Criminal Defenses Available in Criminal Law

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Defenses are strategic interpretations of laws, evidence, and jurisdictions used by accused criminals to minimize the consequences imposed by the courts. Legal reasoning in the United States is that it’s better to free a guilty person than to convict an innocent one. This concept, known as “innocent until proven guilty,” is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Sixth Amendment ensures that defendants have adequate access to relevant evidence to plead their case.

Commonly Used Criminal Defenses

Alibi Defense

A necessity in the courtroom is to provide adequate reasoning for why you cannot be in two places at once. And provide evidence that you were in a different place at the time of the crime. The “alibi defense” is the defense that enables an individual to prove they were in another location at the time of a crime.


Different jurisdictions have different rules pertaining to self-defense. A person who believes they are about to be attacked may be justified in using force to defend themselves, but such use of force must not be excessive, and it must not result in death or severe injury. Under self-defense law, an individual can only use the amount of force necessary to remove a threat. Threats involving deadly force can be countered by countering that threat with deadly force.

Also, defense of others may acquit a defendant who harms another person in defense of a third party of the crime. For example, in certain circumstances, when a person’s intervention prevents a crime from being committed, this legal theory can shield the intervener from conviction.

Insanity Defense

Insanity defenses vary between regions and jurisdictions and can often provide a successful loophole for those who commit heinous crimes. The defense arises when the person accused of committing a crime claims mental incapacity or is unaware of their actions. Insanity has been considered a viable defense since the 1800s but has been heavily challenged in recent years.

Under The Influence Is a Defense

Under the Influence is the defense by which a defendant argues they could not have formed the exact intention to commit the charged offense. The fundamental concept is that the defendant could not understand the moral implications or ramifications acting willfully and understanding what they were doing. For example, in a murder trial, it could be argued that someone intoxicated the accused and therefore did not intend to kill the victim when they committed the act that led to the victim’s death.

Defense of Entrapment

The defense of entrapment is typically applied when authorities act to create illegal behavior when they might not have otherwise. This is not permitted because it would violate the Fifth Amendment prohibition on self-incrimination, which prohibits compelling someone to commit perjury.

Contact Our Office Today!

Here at GPS Law Group, we offer legal services designed to help minimize the hardships you may experience. You can contact us today at 704-549-1950 for a free consultation. If you are charged with a crime in Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and surrounding communities in Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Cabarrus County, Iredell County, Gaston County in North Carolina.