Defenses to Criminal Charges in Illinois
If you have been arrested, remember that the burden is on the prosecutor to prove the charges against you, and you have the right to defend yourself against these charges. Attorney John Fairman in Chicago is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges against you and will work with you to formulate the best defense. Below are just some of the defenses that may be available to you, depending upon the nature of the charges against you.
A valid defense is that the police have the wrong person, or that you are not guilty of the crime with which you are being charged. Under our nation’s laws, even though you have been arrested and are being prosecuted for a crime, you are presumed to be innocent unless and until you are proven guilty. The burden is on the state to prove that you committed a crime, which in most instances means proving every element of the stated offense beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. Unless a police officer actually observed a crime in progress, the state’s case is likely built on different pieces of circumstantial evidence, which may include a misidentification by a witness or some other misinterpretation of the facts. DUI breathalyzers or other equipment used against you may be faulty. If you have an alibi or if other evidence exists which tends to show you are innocent of the offense charged, our experienced criminal defense legal team will uncover these facts and present a strong defense of your innocence.
Lack of Intent
Most criminal offenses contain an element of intent, meaning you must have intended to commit a crime or intended a specific effect to be caused by your behavior. Intent is most often an essential element of the crime, so that proving a lack of intent serves as a complete defense to the crime charged. Other times the level of intent which can be proven may mean the difference between different criminal offenses with vastly different consequences, such as the difference between manslaughter and murder, or the difference between possession of drugs for personal use or possession with intent to distribute.
If you are charged with an assault offense or other violent offense, it may be that you were defending your person or property, or even defending the safety of others. Self-defense can be a valid defense and justification or excuse for certain acts of violence, including homicide. It is essential to show an actual or perceived threat, and that your response was in proportion to the threat posed.
Police officers often go undercover to get people to buy or sell drugs or engage in illicit sexual activity, and sometimes overzealous police work winds up ensnaring people who otherwise were not predisposed to commit a criminal act, but were enticed by the police to do so. Whether police conduct crossed the line and created a viable defense for the accused is a complex factual and legal matter. An experienced criminal defense attorney like John Fairman can help determine whether entrapment may be a valid defense in your case.
Get Help from an Experienced and Successful Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested in Chicago or Cook County and are facing charges in Markham or Bridgeview courthouses, call attorney John Fairman at 708-799-4848 in Homewood or 708-960-4806 in Bridgeview for a no-cost, confidential consultation regarding your possible defenses and best options for success.