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Should you consider an affirmative defense approach?

Facing allegations of criminal charges is a situation in which no one wants to find him- or herself. Of course, anyone could end up in this type of predicament depending on how a certain event plays out. As a result, if you or any other Florida resident faces criminal charges, understanding available defense options is a key point.

If authorities do charge you with a crime, you may want to first go over the details of the alleged crime and the arrest. If you believe that officers made a substantial mistake and that you had no involvement in any type of criminal activity, you may feel that an “I didn’t do it” approach to your case could benefit you most. On the other hand, in some cases, it may be worth considering an affirmative defense.

What is an affirmative defense?

An affirmative defense would involve you or another accused person essentially admitting to participating in the event but arguing that the court should not consider you guilty of a crime. One of the most common types of affirmative defense approaches is claiming self-defense in a situation where a physical altercation occurred. Authorities may have taken you into custody on an assault or battery charge, and while you may have had a role in the fight, you felt you had no other choice but to fight back to protect yourself.

With this type of approach, you would need to actively combat the charges by presenting evidence to the court as to why it should not hold you responsible for the situation. Still, even a self-defense angle can be difficult to prove, so it is wise to thoroughly prepare if you intend to take this route.

What if you did not do anything?

Of course, you also have the option of maintaining your innocence without admitting to any involvement. The “I didn’t do it” approach leaves the burden of proof up to the prosecution, which would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. You do not have to play an active role in this type of defense, but it may be in your interests to present evidence of your own that could negate the prosecution’s information.

The right criminal defense strategy for your case can depend on a number of factors, and you certainly do not want to make a hasty decision for something so important. You may instead want to go over your legal rights and options with an attorney.

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