What are five legal defenses to criminal conduct?


If you have been accused of having committed a crime and have to appear in court, you and your criminal defense lawyer will have to present a smart criminal defense in order to prevent a guilty verdict. A criminal defense is simply the strategy used by your lawyer in order to challenge the sufficiency and validity of the evidence presented by the prosecution in an attempt to prove criminal charges against you.

Thinking about legal defenses, you probably come up with the insanity plea which, if you watch television or movies, you have probably encountered an episode in which it was used. In real life, however, it is not used too frequently and is also not always successful. The premise is that you committed the crime but were unaware that what you were doing was wrong.

Your attorney may have to bring in an expert witness to testify on your behalf, saying that you suffer from a severe mental disease that keeps you from understanding exactly what you were doing. Call a criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh and read on to find out more about other legal defenses to criminal conduct used in court.

Self Defense

Nobody questions the right of any individual to protect themselves from imminent harm, even when the actions needed would generally constitute a crime. In legal cases, self-defense is defined as the right to avoid suffering violence by using a sufficient level of force. However, determining what is the right level of force is not easy as it is also not easy to justify the violence used by an individual to protect themselves when the threat did not actually exist and was just a perception.


Using this defense, also known as abandonment and withdrawal, means that although you were about to commit a crime or be an accomplice to one, you decided not to go through with it. It is important that, before abandoning the crime, nothing you did contributed to it or that you informed the police before the crime took place.

Coercion and Duress

This line of defense states that you were forced to commit the crime because you were threatened with violence if you did not cooperate. This violence need not have materialized and it does not have to be directed at you but could be a threat of violence against a loved one.


With this line of defense, you are basically acknowledging that you did carry out this action but that you did so with the consent of the victim. You may argue that the victim was aware of what was about to happen and agreed to it.

Acting Under the Influence

Although being intoxicated is no excuse for committing a crime, it is understood that when someone has been drinking or using drugs their mental capabilities are impaired. You may argue that you were too drunk or high to have had informed consent. Although using this criminal defense might not get you an acquittal, it could help you get a lesser sentence.

There is a long list of criminal defenses that are acceptable in criminal courts and bajajdefense.com recommends that you become familiar with the many paths to obtaining justice. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney means you will have the best strategy for a successful outcome.