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We Contest Florida Criminal Charges on Your Behalf


The presumption of innocence is the legal right of a person that is accused of committing a crime. In a criminal proceeding, the prosecution has the burden of proof. They must present compelling evidence to prove to a jury that the accused is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. The role of a criminal defense attorney is to challenge the validity of the prosecution’s evidence, in a professional and ethical manner, to prevent a guilty verdict. A defense attorney is an advocate for the defendant, protecting his client’s interests and acts as an overseer of the legal process regarding the case. The defense council will research, interpret laws and strategize on behalf of their client, with the goal of freedom or negotiating a fair plea bargain arrangement.

Some viable defenses are;

  • A mental disorder or insanity defense is based on the principle that a person charged with a crime is not responsible for their actions due to psychiatric illness. It can be argued that a person with a mental illness diagnosis lacks the ability to think rationally. They are unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions or control their behavior.
  • Mistake of fact defenses are appropriate when a defendant makes an honest and reasonable assumption that negates the intent of the crime. For example, a shopper may believe the store is being robbed and subsequently assaults another who is innocent of any crime.
  • Mistake of law is a defense that is used when a defendant claims they were ignorant of the law. They may claim that they misunderstood the application of the law with regard to their act.
  • Self defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or another from physical harm from the attack of another.
  • Statute of limitations is the amount of time that the law allows for litigation to occur from the date of the alleged crime.
  • An alibi defense presents an argument that the defendant was not at the scene of the crime when it occurred.
  • An intoxication defense is a claim that an alleged criminal had diminished responsibility for committing the crime due to substance intoxication. There is voluntary and involuntary intoxication, which impacts on the level of intent by the defendant.
  • Necessity or a lesser harm defense is a choice that the defendant makes, to break a law in order to prevent significant risk of harm. For example, a defendant admits to breaking and entering a home, however it to save the inhabitants from a fire.
  • The Good Samaritan law offers legal protection to those who render medical aid to others, who they believe are ill or incapacitated. Under these conditions, the defendant would be granted immunity from conviction…

These are just a few examples of the many criminal defenses that are used in litigation and trials. Although they appear straightforward, in actuality, there are many complexities in defending clients. The prosecution will be asking questions, such as; does voluntary intoxication excuse criminal behavior? Does mental illness preclude intent of a crime? Are witnesses for an alibi defense coerced by the defendant, his friends or family members? How can one be sure in a mistake of law defense that the defendant did not have the intent to commit the crime? What is reasonable force in a self-defense claim? Many of these questions are explored through subjective evidence and witnesses in a trial. It is a skilled defense attorney that can make the difference between a guilty and a not guilty verdict.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The Law Office of Lisa Dawson, P.A., is an experienced criminal defense attorney that will assist you throughout the criminal justice process. If you are accused of a crime, we will collaborate with you to provide quality representation and decide on the best defense strategy. Call today for a free consultation.