Attorney Jennifer Monroe has over 15 years experience in criminal law and is very familiar with what defenses are available and how to utilize the defenses in your case. Below is a summary of some of the most common defenses in criminal cases. The summary in intended to be an overview. To determine if the defense applies to your case, Contact Us now to see how Jennifer Monroe can help defend you.
You are not guilty if you acted accidently, without the requisite criminal intent, and without criminal negligence.
If you have an alibi for the charges against you, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to present your alibi in court. You have an alibi defense if you were somewhere else when the alleged crime was committed. Criminal Defense Attorney Jennifer Monroe will present your alibi evidence to the prosecution to negotiation a dismissal in your case. If your case goes to trial the jury will be instructed by the Judge: “The People must prove that the defendant was present and committed the crime with which is charged. The defendant does not need to prove he was elsewhere at the time of the crime. If you have a reasonable doubt about whether the defendant was present when the crime was committed, you must find (him/her) not guilty.”
Claim of Right
You obtained property under a claim of right if you believed in good faith that you had a right to the specific property or a specific amount of money, and you openly took it, then you did not have the intent required for the crime of theft or robbery.
Duress or Threats
You are not guilty of the crime if you acted under duress if, because of threat or menace, you REASONALBY believed that you or someone else would be in immediate danger if you refused a demand or request to commit the crime. The demand or request may have been express or implied. All circumstances known to you will be considered in determining whether the belief was reasonable as well as what a reasonable person in the same position as you would have believed. A threat of future harm is not sufficient; the danger to life must have
Your defense team has the burden of proving entrapment by a preponderance of the evidence. You were entrapped if a law enforcement officer or agent of law enforcement acted in a way that would cause a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime. For example if the law enforcement engaged in badgering, persuasion by flattery or coaxing, repeated and insistent requests, or an appeal to friendship or sympathy. Or, if the law enforcement officer engaged in conduct that would make commission of the crime unusually attractive to a normally law-abiding person. Such conduct might include a guarantee that the act is not illegal or that the offense would go undetected, an offer of extraordinary benefit, or other similar conduct.
You are not guilty of receiving stolen property if you intended to return the property to its owner or deliver the property to law enforcement.
If you are guilty of the crime and found to be insane at the time the crime was committed then you will be housed in a mental institution or outpatient treatment program until the maximum sentenced is served or longer if still insane.
The prosecution must prove every element of the crime against you beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense attorney can attack the prosecution’s evidence and establish there is insufficient evidence to support the charges and get your case dismissed or reduced.
Involuntary Intoxication can be used to refute you had the required intent or mental state when you acted. A person is involuntarily intoxicated if he or she unknowingly ingested some intoxicating liquor, drug, or other substance, or if his or her intoxication is caused by the force, duress, fraud, or trickery of someone else, for whatever purpose, without any fault on the part of the intoxicated person.
Evidence you may have suffered from a mental disease, defect, or disorder may be considered for the limited purpose of deciding whether, at the time of the charged crime, that you acted or failed to act with the intent or mental state required for that crime.
Mistake of Fact
You are not guilty of the alleged crime if you did not have the intent or mental state required to commit the crime because you reasonably did not know a fact or reasonably and mistakenly believed a fact. If your conduct would have been lawful under the facts as you reasonably believed them to be, you are not guilty of the alleged crime.
Mistake of fact is not a defense to the following crimes:
Furnishing marijuana to a minor
Selling narcotics to a minor
Aggravated kidnapping of a child under the age of 14
Unlawful sexual intercourse or oral copulation by person 21 or older with minor under the age of 16
Lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14
Mistake of Law
It is not a defense to a crime if you did not know you were breaking the law or that you believed your act was lawful.
Momentary Possession of Controlled Substance
You are not guilty of possession of a controlled substance if your defense team can prove by a preponderance of evidence that:
1. You possessed the drug only for a momentary or transitory period;
2. You possessed the drug in order to abandon, dispose of, or destroy it;
3. You did not intend to prevent law enforcement officials from obtaining the drug.
You are not guilty of the alleged crime if your defense team can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
1. You acted in an emergency to prevent a significant bodily harm or evil to yourself or someone else;
2. You had no adequate legal alternative;
3. Your acts did not create a greater danger than the one avoided;
4. When you acted, you actually believed that the act was necessary to prevent the threatened harm or evil;
5. A reasonable person would also have believed that the act was necessary under the circumstances;
6. You did not substantially contribute to the emergency.
Parental Right to Punish a Child
A parent or guardian is not guilty of corporal injury of a child if justifiable physical force was used to discipline a child. Physical force is justifiable if a reasonable person would find that punishment was necessary under the circumstances and that the physical force used was reasonable. The People must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the force or method of punishment used was not justifiable.
Reasonable Person Standard for Physically Disabled Person
A person with a physical disability is required to know what or use the amount of care that a reasonably careful person with the same physical disability would know or use in the same situation.
Self-Defense or Defense of Another
You legally defended yourself if you used force against the other person if:
1. You reasonably believed that you or someone else was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury or in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully
2. You reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger;
3. You used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.
Statute of Limitations
You may not be convicted of a crime in California unless you are charged within a certain amount of years after the crime is alleged to be committed, discovered, or should have been discovered. Generally, the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is 1 year from when the crime occurred. The statute of limitations for most felonies is 3 years from when the crime occurred. However, there are many offenses that carry longer statute of limitations or no statute of limitation such as life offenses, homicide, or embezzlement of public money.
You are not guilty if you acted while legally unconscious, or not conscious of your actions. Someone may be unconscious even though able to move. Unconsciousness may be caused by a blackout, an epileptic seizure, involuntary intoxication, or sleepwalking.
Voluntary intoxication defense is limited to specific intent crimes to refute you had the requisite mental state or specific intent. Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a general intent offense.
See Results for examples of how Jennifer Monroe has helped defend her clients.
Los Angeles and Ventura County Assault and Battery Defense Attorney
Call Jennifer Monroe directly at (805) 501-1880 for immediate assistance with your assault and battery case.