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What Are The Main Categories Of Criminal Defenses In Delaware?

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There are literally thousands of pages of laws covering the hundreds of crimes defined in Delaware criminal laws. This revelation can be quite daunting when you realize the vast range of misconduct that could lead to an arrest. However, an arrest is not the equivalent of a conviction, so some other information might be reassuring. A defense exists for every one of these crimes. By presenting the right information during pre-trial stages, the charges could be dismissed; alternatively, it is possible to get an acquittal at trial with a solid defense.

Still, a defense may not exist for every individual. It takes the right strategy, combined with proper timing, to get a favorable outcome. As such, you should make it a priority to consult with a Wilmington criminal defense attorney who can advise you and assist with essential tasks. Plus, you might find it useful to review the main categories of criminal defenses available under Delaware law. 

  1. Innocence: The most obvious way to beat criminal charges is to present exculpatory evidence and information that proves your innocence. However, there can be challenges because some of these details may have to come through your own testimony. In most cases, it is not wise for a defendant in a criminal case to testify. Fortunately, you could employ other sources, such as: 
  • Testimony of eyewitnesses;
  • Documents, video footage, and photos;
  • DNA, fingerprint, or other biological evidence;
  • Testimony from expert witnesses; and,
  • Details regarding an alibi. 
  1. Self-Defense: Most often used in cases of assault, battery, homicide, or other violent offenses, there can also be risks when claiming self-defense. Essentially, you are admitting that you engaged in the criminal activity, but that you were justified in doing so because you were protecting against an attack. An associated strategy is defense of others, in which your actions were to protect someone else. 
  1. Constitutional Rights Violations: The US and Delaware Constitutions include numerous civil rights, some of which pertain to the conduct of law enforcement, prosecutors, and other members of the criminal justice community. There could be grounds for a defense if:
  • Police did not have a proper warrant for an arrest;
  • Officers conducted an unlawful search and/or seizure;
  • Upon arrest, your Miranda warnings were not read to you; or,
  • Evidence was not properly safeguarded through the chain of custody. 
  1. Insanity: This defense is available under limited circumstances, and it is another one in which you admit that you engaged in criminal conduct. To prove insanity, you must be able to show that you were unable to recognize right from wrong because of a mental disorder.

A Delaware Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Assist with Strategy

It is helpful to know the types of defenses that may be available in your case, but keep in mind that there could be other alternatives for resolving criminal charges. To learn more about your options, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica. You can set up a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE by calling 302.600.1262 or checking out our website.

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