When you have committed a crime or have just been charged with one, your criminal trial probably means a lot to you, as it will dictate what happens concerning your charge in the future. You, as a defendant, may want to present evidence that includes something known as justifications, excuses, or mitigating factors. These defenses could help you in your criminal case, such as decrease a sentence that once would have landed you in prison or thrown steep fines in your direction. Now you can find out more about these three concepts and how they can help you.
Justifications, Excuses, and Mitigating Factors
Justifications: If you have been charged with a crime, you may be able to justify your actions. If you can prove this to the courts, then you could be cleared from all criminal liability. Some of the most common justifications, which you have probably heard of, include self-defense, crime prevention, necessity, and reasonable mistake of fact. Self-defense is very popular, and is used when you are defending yourself against another person who wants to cause you harm.
Excuses: Excuses do not negate your wrongful act, but instead excuse you from punishment because you were still enduring harm from the act. One example of this is duress, which is when you commit a criminal act under the threat of immediate harm. Some others include involuntary intoxication, legal insanity, entrapment, and reasonable mistake of fact.
Mitigating Factors: If you can prove that mitigating factors played a role in your criminal case, you could be charged with a lesser offense. Your mental state at the time of the crime will be evaluated to concern whether or not you should be charged with a crime. Sometimes, they can include voluntary intoxication, diminished capacity, mistake, or heat of passion.
If you are facing criminal charges, you may wonder what role a criminal defense attorney can play in your case. Luckily for you, we can help clarify the specific situation you are working with and help you understand some of the concepts that will be used in your case. We can walk you through the process of justifications, excuses, and mitigating factors and how they can be useful to you. Call us for more information.