Criminal Defenses a NC Attorney May Use

When a person is accused and charged with a crime, they will hire a criminal defense attorney. In North Carolina, as in most states, the burden of proof is entirely on the prosecution. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused actually committed the crime. That said, a defense attorney will still use one of the common defenses to get their client acquitted. Here are some of those defenses.

The Intoxication Defense

The intoxication defense may be employed if the accused was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the alleged crime. Often the lawyer for the criminal defense Jacksonville NC will have to make the distinction between voluntary or involuntary consumption of the substance.

The Insanity Defense

The insanity defense can only be used in crimes where there is an element of intent. This defense negates that intent by setting out to prove that the accused was not aware of the criminality of the act due to a mental disorder. It generally requires a mental health evaluation and perhaps a stay at a hospital for treatment.

Self Defense

In North Carolina, there is a stand your ground statue for use in self-defense. It states that reasonable force may be used to protect oneself or loved ones while at one’s home, place of work, or vehicle. The form of self-defense used must be proportionate to the threat. 

Duress

This defense applies when the accused committed the crime under duress. This would involve a serious threat to the defendant’s life or safety. The duress defense may not be used in serious crimes such as murder or accessory to murder.

When accused of a crime, it is important to hire a good defense attorney. Even innocent people may find themselves unfairly convicted without solid legal counsel.