5 Criminal Defense Strategies That Might Prove Your Innocence In Court

Now that your local district attorney has filed criminal charges against you, it is important that you understand the defense options that your attorney can use to prove your innocence during your court trial.

Below is some basic information on five criminal defense strategies and an example of when each of them is used:

Criminal Defense Strategy 1: Automatism

The automatism defense strategy is used in a situation where your body takes an action that you do not have any conscious control over. For example, if you were sleep walking and accidentally hurt a child or spouse. Since you were asleep during the event and could not control your actions, the automatism defense would be used.

Criminal Defense Strategy 2: Duress

The duress criminal defense strategy can be used if you were compelled by another person to commit a crime to protect yourself of your family. For example, if someone held a gun to your head and told you to kill someone else or you would be killed. If you killed someone in this scenario, then the duress defense would be used.

Criminal Defense Strategy 3: Insanity 

The insanity criminal defense strategy is used when someone commits a crime during a time of extreme mental duress or deficiency. For example, if someone suffers from PTSD, has a psychotic break in consciousness, and during this time kills someone, then their criminal defense attorney will argue that they were insane at the time and ask for reduced consequences for the crime.

Criminal Defense Strategy 4: Intoxication

The intoxication criminal defense strategy can be used if someone commits a crime while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, if someone drank too much and then attacked someone else physically, then they can claim the intoxication from the alcohol caused them to commit the crime, rather than their rational thoughts.

Criminal Defense Strategy 5: Self-Defense

Finally, the self-defense strategy is used when someone commits a crime while trying to protect themselves or their family. For example, if someone pulls a gun on you while you are out with your family. If you pull out your own gun and shoot them dead, then your lawyer will argue that you committed the crime in self-defense.


By understanding your criminal defense options, you and your criminal defense attorney can work together to find the correct defense strategy for your case. If you have additional questions about your legal representation, then you should speak with your attorney.