A criminal defense attorney serves as the defendant’s guide, protector and confidant through the complex justice system. He or she will review all documentation and develop a strategy to win the case based on the unique circumstances of the client and the crime charged against them.

Defending yourself can be an intimidating prospect, but it is important to remember that you are not responsible for the prosecution’s burden of proof. Your lawyer will cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and call your own witnesses to help build your case. When the trial is over, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide if you are guilty or not.

There are many different types of criminal defenses, and a qualified attorney will discuss the specific details of your case with you. One of the most common is the alibi defense, which focuses on proving that you were not at the scene when the crime occurred. This requires providing proof of your whereabouts during that timeframe, such as witness testimonies, phone records and security footage.

Self-defense is another common defense, and it focuses on showing that the use of force was justified by the circumstances. This can include deadly force, which is allowed if you believe your life or someone else’s is in danger of immediate death or serious bodily injury. It can also include non-deadly force, which is legal if you believe that it is necessary to defend your personal or real property.

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