Criminal defense attorneys play a critical role in protecting the rights of their clients and ensuring that they receive a fair trial. In New York, criminal defense attorneys have employed various strategies to defend their clients and achieve the best possible outcomes. In this article, we will examine some of the recent defense strategies employed by criminal defense attorneys in New York.
One of the most common defense strategies employed by criminal defense attorneys in New York is plea bargaining. In this strategy, the defense attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or penalties against their client in exchange for a guilty plea. Plea bargaining can be an effective strategy to avoid a lengthy trial and secure a better outcome for the defendant.
For example, a defense attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge or to drop some of the charges against the defendant. The defendant, in turn, would plead guilty to the reduced charges, which could result in a lesser sentence or a more favorable outcome.
Another common defense strategy employed by criminal defense attorneys in New York is to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution. This strategy involves questioning the validity or admissibility of the evidence presented by the prosecution, with the aim of weakening the prosecutor’s case.
For example, a defense attorney may argue that the evidence was obtained illegally, was tainted or contaminated, or was not relevant to the case. If the court agrees with the defense, the evidence may be excluded, which could significantly weaken the prosecutor’s case.
The alibi defense is another defense strategy that criminal defense attorneys in New York employ to defend their clients. In this strategy, the defense attorney presents evidence that the defendant was not present at the scene of the crime when it occurred. The aim is to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury or judge, which could result in an acquittal or a reduced sentence.
For example, a defense attorney may present evidence, such as video footage, eyewitness testimony, or other forms of evidence, that shows the defendant was not present at the scene of the crime when it occurred. This could create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury, leading to an acquittal.
Mental Health Defense
The mental health defense is a strategy employed by criminal defense attorneys in New York to argue that their client was not responsible for their actions due to a mental health condition. The aim is to establish that the defendant did not have the necessary intent or capacity to commit the crime they are accused of.
For example, a defense attorney may argue that their client was suffering from a mental health condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, which impaired their judgment or ability to understand their actions. If the court accepts this defense, the defendant may be found not guilty by reason of insanity, resulting in a reduced sentence or no sentence at all.
DNA Evidence Defense
DNA evidence has become an increasingly important factor in criminal cases, and criminal defense attorneys in New York have started to employ strategies to challenge DNA evidence. The aim is to argue that the DNA evidence presented by the prosecution is not conclusive or is unreliable.
For example, a defense attorney may argue that the DNA evidence was contaminated or mishandled during the collection or analysis process. They may also argue that the DNA evidence could have been transferred to the crime scene through secondary transfer, which occurs when DNA is transferred from one person to another through indirect contact.
Famous Defense Strategies
New York’s legal history is filled with famous defense strategies that have shaped the state’s justice system. From the infamous “Twinkie defense” to the groundbreaking use of DNA evidence, here are some of the most famous defense strategies in New York legal history:
- The Twinkie Defense
The “Twinkie defense” is one of the most infamous defense strategies in American legal history. It was used in the trial of Dan White, a former San Francisco city supervisor who shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. White’s lawyers argued that he was suffering from depression and that his consumption of junk food, including Twinkies, was evidence of his deteriorating mental state. The defense was controversial and ultimately unsuccessful, but it sparked a national conversation about the use of psychological evidence in criminal trials.
- The Insanity Defense
The insanity defense has been used in countless criminal trials throughout history, but it gained particular notoriety in the case of John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley’s lawyers argued that he was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the shooting and was therefore not legally responsible for his actions. The defense was successful, and Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
- The DNA Defense
The use of DNA evidence in criminal trials is now commonplace, but it was once a groundbreaking strategy that transformed the legal landscape. In 1987, a New York man named David Vasquez was convicted of rape based on eyewitness testimony. However, the Innocence Project, a legal organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals, discovered that DNA evidence from the crime scene did not match Vasquez. The DNA defense helped to exonerate Vasquez and has since become a standard strategy in criminal cases.
Criminal defense attorneys in New York employ various strategies to defend their clients and achieve the best possible outcomes. From plea bargaining to challenging evidence, presenting an alibi defense, mental health defense, and challenging DNA evidence, these strategies play a critical role in protecting the rights of the accused and ensuring a fair trial. As criminal cases become more complex, it is likely that these strategies will continue to evolve. To get started with your criminal defense strategy in New York, contact Darren Deurso, Attorney at Law.
Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law
188 East Post Road, Suite 300
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (914) 772-8614
If you have further questions about this article or legal concerns, call 800-672-3103