Accusations of a crime in Florida or elsewhere can cause immediate, as well as long-term, negative consequences in a person’s life. There are often several types of criminal defense strategies that may be applied in a particular case.
For you to know which type of strategy would be best in order to try to mitigate a specific set of circumstances requires an understanding of the criminal justice system. In some cases, it might be best for you to submit an affirmative defense.
An affirmative defense carries a burden of proof
There is a difference between a denial of criminal charges and an affirmative defense. The latter is an admission with justification, meaning that you, as a defendant, would admit to committing an act but justify your behavior by presenting certain evidence to the court.
For instance, if you were facing criminal charges for battery, you might decide to use an affirmative defense to admit that you did engage in offensive contact with another person without his or her consent but only as a means of self-defense to ward off the other person’s physical attack.
State laws vary regarding burden of proof for affirmative defense
Depending on jurisdiction, the rules for satisfying the requirements for an affirmative defense may vary. If you enter an affirmative defense plea, you’re basically admitting a certain act or behavior but stating that there is a justified reason or excuse for the behavior; therefore, the court should not consider it a criminal act.
Justification of an act would be based on a common belief held by society, such as your right to protect and defend yourself against another person’s physical attack. In addition to an affirmative defense by justification, you might also determine that you have a legitimate reason for entering an affirmative defense by excuse. This also means that you would be admitting to committing a certain act but asserting that no one should hold you responsible for the behavior.
Navigating the criminal justice system can be stressful
If Florida police arrest you, and you wind up facing criminal charges, you might feel worried or even fearful of what lies ahead. Conviction of a crime in this state or any other often carries severe penalties that may include substantial fines or jail time, which may negatively affect your career and personal life.
It’s understandable that you’d want to learn as much as you can ahead of time about what types of criminal defense strategies might be viable options to increase your chances for obtaining as positive an outcome in court as possible.