What is Criminal Defense?

Have you been arrested? Are you wondering what to do now? Your next steps are very important, and we want to make sure you take the right ones. We are dedicated to fighting for your rights through aggressive and personalized representation. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer that specializes in representing people and corporations that are accused of committing crimes. They follow specific rules of criminal procedure and must remain up to date with ever changing criminal statutes.

A defense attorney looks at activities leading to the arrest. Was proper procedure followed? Were there witnesses and if so what did they actually witness? What evidence exists and what other explanations might there be? While the facts and strategies of each case may be different, the approach should always be strong, wavering, and result focused.

For over a decade, Peter M. Dennis P.A. has defended clients who have been involved in general criminal matters including:

  • DUI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Battery
  • Probation Violations
  • Theft
  • Illegal Substances

The Criminal Process

Every day, many people are arrested for various things. An arrest must either be based on a warrant (signed by a judge after reviewing the evidence against you,) or more commonly based on law enforcement having “probable cause”. This means they have a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed a crime.

Once you are arrested on that very low standard, the criminal process begins. A prosecutor is going to have to prove that an individual committed a crime beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. That is a fairly high standard. It means if the jury has to be nearly certain that an individual has committed a crime.

In between an arrest and a trial, a defense attorney works to develop your defense. In criminal cases, if an individual cannot afford to retain a private attorney, a public defender is appointed. Otherwise, it is at this point that the accused should start looking for a private defense attorney that they believe is strong, knowledgeable, but most importantly, they are comfortable with.

Best Strategy for Criminal Defense

Defense strategies can vary widely depending on the particular circumstances of a case and the type of crime one is accused of. Every strategy should involve a careful examination of the evidence. Memories fade, sometimes evidence is not collected pursuant to the law, witnesses can make mistakes.

Common criminal defense strategies include:

  • Arguing that the facts presented by the prosecution are untrue or fail to rise to the burden of proof
  • Presenting an alibi which demonstrates the defendant could not have committed the crime because of where they were or what they were doing at the time it was committed
  • Arguing that police coerced the defendant into committing the criminal act, and
  • Arguing that the prosecution did not bring charges within the statute of limitations, or amount of time allowed by law, so the charges must be dropped.

Ultimately a jury must find you guilty beyond every reasonable doubt. If doubt exists, the jury needs to know about it and if they do the job requested of them, when reasonable doubt exists they must find an individual not guilty.


Different types of criminal defense

Not everyone who comes to us is looking for the same thing. There have been times when a client has stated that they know they may have possibly committed a crime, but need assistance to negotiate the best possible result. There are a lot of things that go into negotiating a plea but experience in negotiating cannot be taught.

Most people come to our attorney office because they are being accused of something they didn’t do, and we fight aggressively to give them the best possible defense. For those who are looking to minimize the damage, they too need someone who is committed to fighting for them.

At Peter M. Dennis PA, we are here for you whatever the circumstances, whenever you need us.

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