Everyone becomes a party to a disagreement at one time or another. While most of these disputes are only verbal and are quickly resolved with nothing more than some hurt feelings, others turn physical in nature. When this happens and injuries or death result, criminal charges are likely to be brought. If you’re on the receiving end of those charges, then you’ve got a lot on the line, including your freedom and your reputation. With so much at stake, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself.
Is self-defense your best criminal defense option?
Depending on the facts of your case, self-defense might be one of the most effective criminal defense options at your disposal. Under Washington law, the use of force is legal if you or someone else is about to be injured, an offense is about to be committed against you or another person, or some sort of offense is being committed against your property. The use of force can’t be more than that which is necessary to protect yourself, another individual, or your property. It’s hard to define what kind of force is necessary under the circumstances, though, leaving room for legal argument.
Remember the burden of proof
What’s important to remember is that you only need to raise reasonable doubt as to your guilt. It’s not your burden to prove your innocence. So by gathering pertinent evidence and presenting compelling legal arguments that show that the other party was the aggressor and your actions were reasonable under the circumstances, you can increase your chances that the judge or jury will be less inclined to convict you.
Know how to build your criminal defense
Building your criminal defense requires not only knowledge of the law, but also an understanding of how to anticipate the prosecution’s arguments and find ways to poke holes in their case. Attacking witness credibility, showing patterns of conduct, and using the rules of evidence and case law are all important in your case. In other words, if you don’t have experience in criminal defense, then you might be putting yourself at risk if you try to approach these matters on your own.
Therefore, if you hope to protect yourself from aggressive prosecutors’ as fully as possible, then it might be time for you to sit down with an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney.