Your Criminal Defense Options
Fighting Your Criminal Charges in Los Angeles, CA
If you or someone you love was recently arrested, it is imperative that
you seek help from a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as
soon as possible. Serious charges require a serious defense, which is
why you should waste no time in contacting the team at Stephen G. Rodriguez
& Partners. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience,
we know what it takes to win a difficult case. Contact our office today
or fill out a
free case evaluation form online to get started on your defense!
Defenses that Challenge the Elements of the Crime
One of the most effective defenses is to show that the prosecutor cannot
prove every element of the crime. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney
may attempt to prove that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence
to prove that you committed the crime. You can challenge and negate the
elements of a crime if one of the following defenses could be proven:
Involuntary acts: you could only be convicted of a crime that was committed voluntarily—meaning
that, if you acted out of reflex or convulsion, while in a state of unconsciousness
or during hypnosis, your lawyer may be able to prove that your actions
Mistake of fact: you could only be convicted of a crime if you were reasonably aware that
your actions were against the law. If you acted out of ignorance or a
misunderstanding of fact (i.e. you lacked criminal intent), you could
argue this as a viable defense in your case.
Impossibility: this defense could be used if you intended to commit a crime, but legal
and factual circumstances prevented it from occurring. For example, if
you stole your neighbor's property, but it turns out that it was really
yours, you could not be convicted of a
Abandonment / withdrawal: this defense could be raised if your lawyer can show that you voluntarily
and completely abandoned your plan to commit a crime—which does
not include situations where you decided to postpone the crime or find
a different victim.
Defenses that Seek to Justify Your Actions
If it has been established that you committed a crime, your attorney may
still be able to assert an affirmative defense. Justification defenses
can be used when a defendant's conduct did not violate the law under
the circumstances. In other words, the defendant acted appropriately in
a tough situation, and therefore, their actions are justifiable.
Self-defense: if you were placed in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death,
or even threatened with imminent and grave force, you would be justified
in using equal force to protect yourself. For example: you shot an armed
robber who aimed their gun at you.
Defense of others: if someone else is being attacked, or has been threatened with imminent
violence, you would be justified in using force to protect that person.
This is similar to the theory of self-defense, with the only difference
being that you were defending someone else.
Defense of property: under California law, a person is allowed to use a limited amount of force
in order to defend their property—with the key word being "limited."
Since property is not as valuable as human life, deadly force cannot be
used to defend your property.
Law enforcement defense: law enforcement officers and those acting on behalf of law enforcement
are justified in using force to apprehend suspects and defend their own
safety. If a suspect threatens a police officer's life, they may use
deadly force to protect themselves.
Necessity: this defense can be used when four requirements are met: the defendant
faced a "choice of evils," there was no apparent legal alternative, an immediate threat existed,
and the defendant chose the lesser harm. However, they must not have caused
Defenses that Seek to Excuse Your Actions
Under California law, a defendant may be able to excuse their actions if
they have made a socially unacceptable choice due to the fact that they
are incapable of controlling their behavior or they do not understand
the consequences of their actions. These are known as "excuse defenses,"
and can be used under a wide range of circumstances.
Duress: this defense can be asserted if you were placed in fear of imminent harm.
For example, if someone threatened to kill you if you did not commit a
crime, your actions could be justified; however, you must be able to prove
that you did not recklessly put yourself in that situation.
Involuntary intoxication: this defense could be asserted if you committed a crime that you would
not have otherwise committed had you been sober. For example: someone
slipped drugs into your drink, causing you to hallucinate and subsequently
commit a crime.
Insanity: if a mental disorder has kept a defendant from knowing that their actions
were wrong or against the law, they may be to protect themselves against
criminal conviction by using the insanity defense. This particular defense
provides a full defense to criminal charges.
Entrapment: entrapment refers to the circumstances of a crime under which a defendant was unfairly
influenced to commit a crime by law enforcement. Essentially, you would
need to prove that you would not have otherwise committed the crime had
it not been for undue influence.
Infancy: the law excuses the acts of children who are under the age of seven because
they are too young to understand the consequences of their actions. Furthermore,
minors between the ages of seven and 14 are presumed to be incapable of
committing a crime.
Discuss Your Options with Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners
Were you recently charged with a crime in Los Angeles, CA? Discuss your
case with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer at
Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to learn more about your defense options. We have successfully represented
clients throughout Los Angeles County for more than seven decades combined,
so you can rest easier knowing that our firm is fighting to protect you
against the consequences of a conviction.
Serious charges require the assistance of a hard-hitting Los Angeles criminal
defense attorney; get the help you need by setting up a
free and confidential consultation with our firm.