Any criminal offense carrying a prison sentence of at least two years is usually considered a felony, although this might vary by the state. Other types of crimes are classified as misdemeanors or petty crimes.
When you have been charged with a felony, you need a competent criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges. After all, you do not want to spend years of your life behind bars. When you hire a competent lawyer, you will have the best chance of getting a non-guilty verdict, having the charges dropped, or receiving a lesser sentence.
After all, most prosecutors will be happy to win a guilty verdict, even if it means a lower payment of fine and a shorter prison sentence in a negotiated plea deal. To ensure you get the best possible outcome, take your time to find the best criminal defense attorney available. If you are wondering “what are the best defenses against felony charges,” keep reading to find out.
The Best Defenses for Felony Charges
If you have been charged with a serious crime and the evidence against you is convincing, the best defense might be to claim insanity. The legal definition for insanity is not being in the right frame of mind when committing a crime. You will have to undergo medical assessment by a psychiatrist to prove that you were legally insane when you committed the crime. An insanity defense is commonly referred to as a mental disorder, and as you may already know, stress and depression are common types of mental disorders, so depending on your medical history, you might be able to easily use an insanity defense.
2. Necessity Defense
When the court rules that you have a case to answer for, you can claim that your actions were justified. Self-defense is the most common type of necessity defense. If you killed or hurt someone to prevent him or her from harming you or your family, a necessity defense could be successful. Similarly, if you stole a car to drive home to prevent a neighbor from harming another neighbor, a necessity defense might stand. A necessity defense can pass the test if the defendant is being charged with committing a lesser crime to stop a more serious crime from taking place.
If someone forced or compelled you to commit a crime, then you can use duress as your legal defense. After all, you did not commit the crime willingly. For instance, if your employer required you to do something that was a violation of securities law or you would get fired, you can use duress as a defense. In such a case, the prosecution may take you up as a prosecution witness to prosecute the bigger fish. In return, they may drop or reduce the charges against you.
If you commit a felony as a result of an automatic muscular reflex that didn’t require conscious thought, you can use an automatism defense. For instance, if a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) falls ill and suddenly attacks innocent bystanders, an automatism defense can be used to get him or her off the hook. However, this defense can only be used in a limited number of cases.
Your lawyer can help you come up with the best defense for your case. When looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Sacramento, you should compare experiences and give special consideration to the most experienced attorney.