THINK YOU’RE GUILTY? HIRING A TULSA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY MAY CHANGE YOUR MIND
It’s not unusual for some to say “I did it” or “I’m guilty.” But, the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has offer will tell you that that’s just not true here’s why. Legally, you’re not guilty unless you plead guilty, or you have a trial before a judge or jury and they say you’re guilty. Even if you say you did what “they” say you did, there still hope. The following is for informational purposes only, and not legal advice.
PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS TO DISMISS THE CHARGE
There are all kinds of potential avenues to get a charge dismissed. The prosecution may have improperly filed the charge. They may have stated facts in the charge that don’t amount to a crime. I’ve had success in getting some charges dismissed based on these grounds. The best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has will also determine whether not a motion to suppress should be filed. This is a motion that seeks to get evidence thrown out. Typically this occurs when there has been an illegal arrest or search. So, for example, maybe the arresting officer didn’t read the defendant his Miranda rights. (“ You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney appointed you if you cannot afford one. …”)
Many times police will unlawfully get a statement or confession from a person. The best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has will dive into the facts of your case and look for unlawful police conduct. It may be possible to get evidence thrown out based on the worst or involuntary statements made to police. If the court throws out the evidence, then it seriously undermines the prosecution’s case. Oftentimes, a judge will dismiss the charge if he agrees with the motion to suppress.
The best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has will see if you have an affirmative defense to the charge. An affirmative defense is a fact or set of facts, that defeats the charge. Here is a list of some affirmative defenses that might be available to any number of charges. Whether or not an affirmative defense applies will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. Each case is different.
- Entrapment: This could apply to a large number of charges, especially sex crimes such as lewd or indecent proposal to a child. It may be available where there is an alleged online solicitation and the “child” is actually an undercover officer.
- Consent: This defense often applies to assault and battery, rape and other sex crimes, burglary, and kidnapping.
- Duress: A person is entitled to the defense of duress if that person committed the criminal act because he reasonably believed that his/her spouse or child was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm from another. However, a person is not entitled to the defense of duress if he/she fails to use a reasonably safe opportunity to escape from the imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.
- Abandonment: This is for “aiding and abetting” crimes. It means more than changing your mind about committing a crime. The person asserting this defense must have done everything practicable to prevent the consummation of the crime. If you’ve been charged with aiding and abetting, contact the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer.
- Withdrawal: This a similar to abandonment, but applies to conspiracy charges. It’s a defense to the crime of conspiracy that a person who has entered into a conspiracy agreement to commit a crime withdraws from and abandons the agreement prior to the commission of before an overt act by any party to the agreement. A withdrawal is effective only if the person withdrawing notifies all of the other parties to the agreement in a manner sufficient to inform a reasonable person of the withdrawal.
- Use of Prayer: You see this defense in child abuse or neglect cases. It’s available when the defendant, in good faith, selected and depended upon spiritual means alone through prayer. The defendant must do this according to the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment, cure or remedial care of a child.
- Heat of Passion: This is a defense to first-degree murder. A person who kills another person in the heat of passion cannot have the deliberate intent required for murder in the first degree. If you’ve been charged with murder or any type of homicide crime, you need the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer.
- Lack of Knowledge: This is a critical defense for possession crimes, such as unlawful possession of a firearm, drugs, and paraphernalia.
- Defense of Another: For homicide and assault and battery crimes.
- Self Defense
- Defense of Property: A person is justified in using force in preventing or attempting to prevent a trespass or other unlawful interference with real or personal property in his/her lawful possession. Defense of property is a defense although the danger to the property defended may not have been real, if a reasonable person, from the viewpoint of the defendant, would reasonably have believed the danger of interference to be imminent. The amount of force used may not exceed that amount of force a reasonable person, in from the viewpoint of the defendant, would have used to prevent the trespass or unlawful interference.
- Accident and Misfortune: This a potential defense for various homicide crimes.
- Involuntary Intoxication: A jury instruction on involuntary intoxication reads: “A person is entitled to the defense of involuntary intoxication if, at the time of the commission of the acts/omissions that constitute the crime, that person did not know that his/her acts/omissions were wrong and was unable to distinguish right from wrong with respect to his/her acts/omissions. A person is also entitled to the defense of involuntary intoxication if that person did not understand the nature and consequences of his/her acts/omissions. The inability to know right from wrong or to understand the nature and consequences of his/her acts must be caused by the involuntary use of an intoxicant.”
- Voluntary Intoxication: A person is entitled to the defense of intoxication if that person was incapable of forming the specific criminal intent. Some crimes have a “specific intent” element. Some examples include shooting with intent to kill, second-degree burglary (element of intent to steal) and larceny (intent to steal element).
- Alibi: This defense asserts that the defendant was at another and different place at the time of the crime charged. A jury instruction on this defense states in part that “after careful consideration of all of the evidence in the case, you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant was present at the time and place where the crime was committed, if it was committed, then you must find the defendant not guilty.”
- Victim of Human Trafficking: This is a very specific defense for a victim of human trafficking during the time of the alleged offense. The prosecutor has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not a victim of human trafficking during the time of the alleged offense. If the jury finds that the prosecutor has failed to satisfy its burden, then the jury must find the defendant not guilty.
THE PROSECUTION’S HIGH BURDEN OF PROOF
Generally speaking, the burden of proof is the obligation that a party to a case has in order to prevail. In order to prevail on a charge, the prosecution must prove each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Oklahoma courts to not define “reasonable doubt.” But some states do define the term. In Arizona, for example, reasonable doubt is defined as proof that leaves a person “firmly convinced” that the particular proposition or claim is true. Proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” does not have to overcome any conceivable doubt. In other words, the prosecution in a criminal case does not have to prove the defendant is guilty with 100 percent certainty. The best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has will fight hard to prove that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.
EXAMPLE OF BURDEN OF PROOF: SHOOTING WITH INTENT TO KILL
Let’s take shooting with intent to kill has an example. This crime consists of three elements. They are 1) intentional and wrongful; shooting another person with a firearm; with the intent to kill any person. Suppose the prosecution has proved that the defendant shot another person with a firearm. Maybe the defendant voluntarily confessed to shooting another person and, suppose further that there’s no question that the defendant intended to kill that other person. But, the prosecution has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was intentional and wrongful.
Perhaps the defendant was trying to defend himself or another person. Maybe somebody drugged him, causing bizarre behavior. Remember affirmative defenses? Or maybe the prosecution just failed to prove that the shooting was intentional and wrongful. Because prosecution failed to prove the first element, the defendant cannot be legally found to be guilty.
THE CALE LAW OFFICE CAN HELP
As you can tell, hiring the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer is a tremendous benefit. It’s essential that you hire a criminal lawyer no matter how serious the case is. Even if you think that the prosecution has a strong case against you, there may be a way out. But you can’t get a charge dismissed or reduced to a less serious charge unless you hire an attorney. For aggressive criminal defense, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Or, contact us on our website.