People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.
If you stand accused of a crime, you must depend on the fairness of the justice system to do its job. As a defendant, it is your (and your defense attorney's) job to convince the prosecuting attorney (the "state") of either your innocence or to show that your actions were less than criminal. While the system ostensibly places the burden of proof on the prosecution, the reality of most cases demonstrates instead a need for you to put up a good defense against the charges. To learn more about common defensive situations in criminal court, read on.
The existence of proof that you were not at the location of the crime can make quick work of most cases, and indeed you may never even find yourself having to go to court at all if you have a good alibi. This form of defense is far from foolproof, however. Consider the following:
In this defense, you admit to the crime but assert that you were forced to save your own life by using violence against another. You do have the right to protect yourself, so the prosecution will attempt to show that you:
Other factors include the sex, size, health, and other characteristics of both you and the aggressor.
This defense is actually the most misunderstood of any. There is actually no legal definition of insanity, and it should be noted that the diagnostic manual of mental disorders does not include any such term either. It is an old-fashioned term that has been used to describe a person who commits a crime but is unable to understand that what they did was wrong, or was unable to control themselves during the crime. Defenses of this nature rely heavily on the testimony of mental health experts to assert that the person could not have known, at the time of the crime, what they were doing was wrong or against the law. If a defendant is found to be mentally ill and are still convicted of the crime, they are usually remanded to a mental institution.
Speak to your criminal law attorney for more information about these and other commonly used defenses.Share