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Do you need to consider an affirmative defense?


The right approach to defending against criminal accusations will depend on the situation. Many defense strategies attempt to weaken the connection between a criminal event and a criminal defendant.

A defense attorney might establish an alibi that shows the defendant was elsewhere when a crime took place. They might raise questions about whether the police violated someone’s civil rights during a search, and they could even challenge the way that the police interpret sorting evidence, possibly with the help of expert witnesses.

However, sometimes the evidence connecting someone to a crime is very strong. Could mounting an affirmative defense be the right tactic for someone facing charges with video or physical evidence?

Affirmative defenses employ a very different strategy

Instead of trying to show that the individual accused of a crime did not commit a specific action and is therefore innocent, an affirmative defense employs a different approach. It involves a lawyer claiming to the courts that a defendant’s actions were not illegal.

For example, Kentucky law typically makes acts of interpersonal violence criminal offenses. However, people can use physical force, including deadly force to protect themselves from acts of physical violence or to defend their personal property.

State law creates numerous different circumstances in which an action that is typically a crime is not anymore. There are rules that apply to victims of human trafficking, those afraid for their well-being and those who intervene to protect someone else from an immediate threat. Individuals who experience severe mental health issues could also raise an affirmative defense by claiming they temporarily lacked capacity, which people sometimes refer to as a temporary insanity defense.

No one defense strategy works for everyone

An affirmative defense is not always the best response, just like establishing an alibi won’t work in every case. The right defense option will differ significantly depending on the evidence the state has against you in the law the prosecutor accuses he was violating. Affirmative defenses are a viable option for those who believe that their actions are not illegal if viewed from the proper perspective.

Looking into all of your options for mounting a criminal defense will help you choose the strategy that is most likely to succeed when you go to trial.

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