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How should I present my story in criminal court?

Some people who have been accused of a crime believe that if they can find the right way of framing their story, they can receive a verdict of "not guilty." This is a naïve understanding of the law. Nevertheless, there may be some circumstances in which a defendant can "explain" to the court why he or she did what was done, and thereby achieve a more favorable result in court.

It's not what it looks like

Sometimes what appears to be a criminal act, in fact, was not. Maybe someone broke into a vehicle that was not his or her own because the vehicle was endangering someone's life. Or, maybe someone was speeding or driving drunk because he or she was taking a friend to the hospital in an emergency. With the proper explanations, in some cases, a defendant could achieve a verdict of not guilty.

I was forced to do it

There have been situations in which a defendant was forced to perform a criminal act by someone who was controlling him or her. Maybe a member of the mafia told the defendant that he needed to rob a bank and steal as much money as possible or else a family member or loved one would get in serious trouble. If someone was forced to perform a criminal act under duress like this, the court will likely be more lenient on him or her.

Were you accused of a crime that you didn't commit? Do you have a good explanation for why you carried out an act that looked criminal but was not, in fact, a crime? Learn more about your criminal defense options now.

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