Criminal Defenses

Whether a first time offender or a repeat offender, your criminal case can be challenged on constitutional, statutory, or administrative grounds.

In general, these various defenses fall into the category of either a Pretrial Defense or Trial Defense.

Pretrial Defenses

Pretrial defenses are raised prior to trial and are used to challenge the legality of how the evidence against you was obtained and the sufficiency of the evidence used to charge you with a crime.

The most common Pretrial Defenses are:

In general, these pretrial defenses are raised through either a:

Not every available defense will result in the outright dismissal of a case; but the prosecution needs all of its evidence to prove a crime, prevent an appeal, and build a strong case for trial.

So if one link in the State's case is successfully challenged at the pretrial stage, resulting in key evidence being being thrown out (suppressed), the State may be unable to prosecute you as charged, be forced to negotiate a favorable plea, or be unable to prove their case at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Trial Defenses

As the name implies, trial defenses are raised during the actual trial and either:

  1. Raise an Affirmative Defense to a Crime; or
  2. Challenge the Sufficiency of the Evidence.

Affirmative Defenses

Under certain circumstances, Florida law allows a person to raise an Affirmative Defense, which does not deny that an offense occurred, but that the conduct was legally justified.

The most common Affirmative Defenses are:

When an Affirmative Defense is raised, the defendant must present some evidence to support the defense. If such evidence is presented, the burden shift back to the State to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable.

Insufficient Evidence

By far, the most common trial defense is that a case cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

And not only must the prosecutor prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So if a pretrial defense was granted, the State may have a difficult time proving an element of a crime at trial.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Florida, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.