Crimes are committed every day; most are minor offenses though many are much more serious and hold the threat of grave consequences. In ongoing efforts to keep communities safe and peaceful, law enforcement and the courts come together to keep crime rates as low as possible and determine the punishment of those who have broken the law.
Here is a list of some of the most common crimes committed day to day and how an expert attorney may be able to defend these crimes in court:
DUIs are among the most common offenses from city to city. Anyone who is found to be “driving under the influence,” whether that influence is alcohol, drugs, or even over-the-counter products, and it’s determined that they are not fit to operate a vehicle, can be charged with a DUI. DUI charges range in severity depending on a number of factors such as how much of a substance was consumed, whether or not others were injured or property was damaged, and if the person operating the vehicle is legally allowed to consume alcohol at their age. Punishment may range from several hours of community service to hefty fines and up to a year or more in jail depending on the court’s’ decision.
2. Speeding and Moving Violations
Speeding and moving violations run the gamut and may include anything from running a stop sign to driving well beyond the speed limit and causing injury or property damage in the process. Some speeding and moving violations include driving under the influence offenses, but a moving vehicle is always part of the equation.
3. Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault occurs when an attack on another person includes the intent to cause serious injury. These types of assault often involve a weapon and are based on revenge, hate, or animosity, and are taken out on those who are unable to defend themselves at the time of the attack.
Defenses Against Common Crimes
When a defendant goes on trial for an alleged crime, the prosecutor has the task of proving that the defendant is guilty of said crime beyond any reasonable doubt. If in Southern California, the defendant can employ the help of a criminal defense attorney to either lessen their sentencing or have it dismissed altogether. Some typical defenses against the crimes listed above may include:
1. The Defendant Did Not Understand the Significance of Their Actions
In some situations, an attorney may be able to argue that the defendant didn’t understand the implications of their actions or realize that they were wrong. Perhaps the defendant is prone to violent impulses or is lacking in emotional or mental capacity in a way that might alter the outcome of their sentencing and an attorney can bring this defense to the table.
2. The Defendant Was Justified in Their Actions
An attorney may be able to convince the courts that the defendant is justified in their actions due to self-defense or defense of duress (the suggestion that a crime was committed because a person felt forced or threatened by someone else).
3. No Crime Actually Occurred
In some cases, it’s quite possible that no crime actually occurred. Either the laws which were assumed to be broken aren’t the same in the location in which the offense took place, or a defendant may be able to assert that consent was given for the behavior by their accuser, etc.
4. The Crime Was Not As Severe as the Charge Implies
Many times the charges given are not aligned with the actual severity of the offense. An officer may assume that a person was under the influence when they actually weren’t, for example. In these situations, a criminal defense attorney can help argue the defendant’s case thoroughly.
It can be a time of anxiety for those who have been charged with a crime in Southern California, but with the help of a skilled San Diego criminal defense attorney, there’s hope.