What are the Common Defenses to Crimes in Arizona?
It is your constitutional right to have a day in court when you’re facing criminal charges. But if you’re hoping to prove your innocence, you’ll want to prep before that day in court. It is best practice to hire an Arizona criminal defense attorney.
Regardless of whether or not you hire your own attorney, understanding how to defend your case will be crucial in your chances of success. If you’ve ever watched a crime drama on television, you likely know the basics of criminal defense. But to help you better understand how to build a case, here are some key aspects of a criminal defense you should be aware of.
Depending on the type of criminal charges you are being tried for in court, you may submit an alibi. An alibi proves your innocence by showing that you couldn’t have committed the crime in question because you were elsewhere.
An alibi can greatly help you defense, especially if there was someone you were with at the time who could attest to where you were. If no one was with you, there are additional ways to prove an alibi, such as an attendance sheet from school or a receipt with a timestamp from a restaurant, service station or grocery store.
While having proof of your location at the time of the crime via an alibi is great, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. Therefore, ultimately, the prosecutor must prove that you were at the scene of a crime and not vice versa.
You should provide the information about your alibi during the discovery phase of your case. Holding it until the trial could look suspicious. However, it is always best to discuss these details with your Arizona criminal defense attorney to ensure the best advice for your specific case.
In addition to an alibi, you’ll provide evidence of your innocence. Likewise, the prosecution will be working to provide evidence of your guilt for the charges against you. Just as in the case of the alibi, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, but it does help for you to prove your innocence if you have the evidence to do so.
Evidence you might provide include not only proof of your whereabouts, but details of the case that the prosecution has presented that don’t add up to you being guilty. The types of evidence you’ll present depend on the charges you’re facing and the details of your case. An attorney can best help you prepare evidence and ensure your case is well presented. Click here for information on obstructing a criminal investigation in Arizona.
Witnesses and testimony
The next portion of the case is the calling of witnesses. Witnesses take the stand to share what they saw or provide expert opinions on a topic, such as traffic law in the case of a severe moving violations.
You’ll also be given the opportunity to provide your own testimony of what happened or why you are innocent. There are a variety of reasons you may not want to take the stand, such as being charged in another case where you could be incriminated by taking the stand. The prosecution can also call into question your character during testimony and you are obligated to respond honestly.
Once again, the decision of whether or not to personally take the stand is one you should discuss in depth with your attorney. If your attorney believes that it would be beneficial for you to provide testimony, he or she will prepare you for what to expect. You’ll run through mock testimonies to ensure you are ready to answer the tough questions the prosecution might ask you.