Many who commit crimes deserve the punishment levied against them.  More often, however, the crime was not actually committed or there is some justification that warrants an acquittal or at least a far reduced punishment.  For the latter, it is vitally important to retain the Top Criminal Defense Attorneys In Los Angeles who will be able to use the relevant laws and procedures to make sure an accused does not face unwarranted punishment.  In such cases, qualified attorneys are available to make sure an accused, her family or her dependents do not suffer for the rest of their lives for an accusation that there was no responsibility for.

The Top Criminal Defense Attorneys In Los Angeles, as well as in the rest of the United States, should have at least the following certain important qualities which an accused should search for prior to singing that retainer agreement: (1) integrity, as a quality attorney should be honest with his client and keep the client informed as to what is happening with the case, (2) research, as a quality attorney has access to, and knows how to use, research databases in order to be able to understand the charges, possible punishments and methods of defending such allegations, (3) negotiation, as more than 90% of cases settle out of court and, as such, the best defense attorney is able to negotiate with the prosecutor in order to achieve the best deal for the client, (4) demeanor, because whether in court, with client or with other attorneys, a top attorney knows when to be loud and bombastic and when to be quiet and patient in order to properly advocate for the client, (5) perseverance, because there are many avenues a defense attorney may use to defend a client, and all should be used unless and until a positive result is achieved or there are no more such routes, (6) analyze, because a top defense attorney cannot sit back and relax, but rather must think “on his feet” whether it be at trial, negotiating a settlement or otherwise, (7) intelligence, because top defense attorneys should understand the overarching principles as well the minutia of relevant legal principles and procedure that can be used to achieve the best result for the client, (8) communicability, as a top attorney should be able to effectively speak with judges, court staff, prosecutors, clients, witnesses, police, and more in order to properly defend a client, (9) understanding, because like the preceding quality, a defense attorney must be able to understand what “makes each person tick” in order to procure from witnesses the information needed, (10) caring, as sympathy with a client’s fears and his family’s worries involved in a pending jail sentence, steep fines, loss of licenses, etc., is a quality that makes defense attorneys better.

There are different types of defenses used by top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles, depending on the circumstances.  Some attorneys will utilize affirmative defenses, thereby presenting evidence to rebut the prosecution’s evidence.  For example, if charged with first-degree murder, or “premeditated murder,” you may present an alibi witness to demonstrate that you were not there and, therefore, could not have committed the crime.   Whether or not to assert an affirmative defense is a strategy choice based on the crime you are accused of committing, as well as the evidence available to you.

Although popular on television and in the movies, the “insanity” defense, where you argue that the accused committed the crime but did not know what he or she was doing, rarely works.  This is difficult because client and attorney must present “clear and convincing” evidence that the accused suffers from a mental disease or defect and that this disease or defect caused the accused to not understand that his or her actions were wrong.

Coercion/duress is an affirmative defense whereby an accused admits to committing the crime but only because there was some sort of threat against him or a loved one.  This defense cannot be used if your own actions put you in the situation that caused the duress, such as if you were robbing a bank but then were forced to murder the teller.  In such a case, you would still be deemed responsible for the killing.

Other popular defenses may include (1) self-defense, where an accused’s actions, otherwise considered criminal, were necessary in order to defend himself, (2) consent, where the accused acknowledges that he committed some sort of act but that it was consented to by the victim, (3) intoxication, where, although not usually successful, one can argue that being intoxicated negated the intent necessary to be convicted of a certain crime, or (4) statute of limitations, where the amount of time the prosecution has to bring charges against an accused has elapsed so the charges must be dismissed.

As there is a lot to know to be able to properly defend oneself, the hiring of a competent lawyer is a must.