Criminal Defendants on Trial - Raising Minor Defenses

Defenses to the charges are always an appropriate area to explore and raise early in the litigation process. Some of them will require special documents to be filed and witnesses to be listed in a timely fashion or they will be deemed waived by the court. Examples of defense claims that will need to be proved affirmatively at trial in order to be complete defenses and that raise other considerations for the Defense include:

"The police got me to sell drugs I didn't even want to do!"

"Sure, I broke in and shot the man, but I had been drinking whiskey all day. I got myself so drunk that I didn't know what I was doing!"

"I did it because those guys were going to kill me and my wife if I didn't!"

Scenarios depicting some of these less frequently raised defenses are presented so you can better understand the terminology and significance of these affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense is one that must be disclosed to the prosecution before trial and it requires the Defense to offer proof through testimony or real (physical) evidence at trial.

· Entrapment

A teenager walks home from school every day. He never has done drugs or alcohol. One day a brand new fancy car pulls up. The driver is dressed in the latest style of expensive clothes. He has plenty of cash. He begins describing to the teenager how he got into a new business and now, after only a couple of weeks, he is rich. In the backseat are two gorgeous girls dressed with the latest fashions. "I have an opportunity to share only with you," he says. The teenager is going home to an old, rundown trailer and may not have much to eat as his grandmother cares for him and has no money. Here the teenager who would have never thought about selling drugs is being enticed to commit a crime using emotional lures.

If the driver of that car is a police officer, this could be the basis of an entrapment defense. Entrapment is inducing, enticing or encouraging a person to perform an illegal act which they never would have done it but for the recruitment. The defendant is entrapped if:

- he/she was induced to commit a crime that otherwise he/she would have never committed; and
- he/she engaged in the criminal conduct as a direct result of the inducement; and
- the inducer is a law enforcement officer or a person cooperating with the police.

Entrapment is another defense where the jury is told that the defendant did indeed commit the crime (i.e. delivered the cocaine). However, that defendant would not have done it if the police hadn't recruited him/her.

The Defense attorney must fully develop the surrounding facts tying the police activities into the enticement of the defendant. If he was predisposed to sell drugs and was actively asking around how to get some cocaine to sell to his known buyers when he met up with the cop, then there would not be any entrapment.

· Voluntary Intoxication

Before discussing the voluntary intoxication defense, it should be noted that most states have done away with it by statute. Historically, when the defendant was charged with a specific intent crime and had chosen to get himself extremely intoxicated, this factor could negate the specific intent element of the crime. In other words, voluntarily getting intoxicated could work as a complete defense.

For instance, let's say the defendant is charged with battery. Battery occurs when the defendant "intentionally touches or strikes the victim against his will." This is a specific intent crime meaning that the State must prove that the defendant intended to touch or strike as an essential element of its case in chief. Where the defendant has gotten himself so drunk that he couldn't even put one foot in front of the other, how can the State prove he intended anything? Theoretically, it cannot. Since the State cannot prove this essential element of the crime, they cannot prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, voluntary intoxication is a complete defense to the crime of battery. The same analysis holds for any crime that requires the State to prove that the defendant intended to do the act.

A victim might testify that the defendant didn't need to drink an entire fifth of whiskey and take two Valium pills. He did it of his own accord. He intended, if you will, to get himself drunk. He proceeded to beat the victim within an inch of his life. What if the intent was a premeditated design to kill the shop keeper in an intentional murder case? Should the defendant's voluntary drinking and drug spree be a defense? Should he be favored by his own wrongful act? The various State legislatures don't think so today. Voluntary intoxication as a complete defense is an item of legal history.

· Duress or Necessity

"I am telling you officers, I would never have committed this crime except that Billy held a gun to my head and Bobby had my child tied up in the field out back." Sounds like duress. Sounds like a complete defense. Did the defendant act out of duress or necessity in committing the crime? The judge will instruct the jury, "It is a complete defense to the crime (i.e. forgery of documents) if the defendant acted under duress. In order to find duress the jury must consider these six elements:

- Defendant reasonably believed a danger existed which he did not cause;
- That danger threatened significant harm to himself or others;
- The threatened harm must have been real, imminent and impending;
- There was no way to avoid the danger but by committing the crime;
- The crime must have been committed out of duress to avoid the danger;
- The harm avoided must have been greater than the harm of the crime committed.

It can easily be understood how tough it is to prove the elements of duress in order to be in a position to argue that the only reason the charged crime was committed was because the defendant was under duress. Once proven, duress is a complete defense to the crime charged.

· Independent Act

Three guys drive to the supermarket. The driver remains with the car because all of the parking spots are taken. The other two go inside and begin to shop. They get bread and cold cuts and beer and push their cart to the line. While one is paying for the party items the other pulls out a gun and robs the checkout clerk of $347. What do you think the driver and the party pack purchaser will argue when they are charged with the armed robbery? Will they say, "Hey, we were just shopping. We had no idea that Buster had a gun. We never discussed robbing the money and had no idea what he was up to."

In this trial, the judge will instruct the jury that they must consider whether the act of Buster's action was an independent act where he acted on his own. If the defendant raising this defense can show three things, he must be found not guilty. If the defendant raising this defense can show three things that form an independent act, he must be found not guilty. These include:

- This defendant did not intend this crime to occur;
- This defendant did not participate in the criminal act;
- This criminal act was not a reasonably foreseeable

act contemplated by this defendant.

Proof of an independent act is a complete defense to the crime charged.

In summary, four of the less frequently raised affirmative defenses that might be raised by the Defense in an appropriate case are: entrapment, voluntary intoxication, duress and independent act. Remember, in order to be able to argue at closing argument that one or more of these defenses apply, the Defense Attorney must be able to point to specific facts supporting these defenses from the record of the case. If the Defense proof is strong enough, the Court may give a directed verdict in the form of a Judgment of Acquittal either at the close of the State's case or at the close of all of the evidence.

Where To Find Criminal Records Free To The Public

We live in world where wolves come in sheep's clothing. This is the very reason why getting criminal records free to public is such a good idea. With the help of these records, one can surely protect themselves as they get to sensitive information which can mean safety and security as they deal with people either through business, employment and the like.

First way to obtain criminal records free to public access is by going to designated offices where you get to have access at the said documents. There are places where one can just go to an office where access to the local courts' computer is allowed thus all you have to do look up for the person's name and results will come out in an instant. While information such as SSN, Date of Birth and the like, you are sure to get a bird's eye view of the person's background.

There are countless of websites that specializes in criminal records free to public access. All you have to do is register and log in to these sites. After you have keyed in all the information needed, you just have to type the name of the person that you are looking for and results will surely come up. There is no need to wait for weeks or days like in a regular office.

The Internet is such a good source of all information, big or small, important or not. While it may give out useless facts, it also never fails in giving out information such as criminal records which can mean safety of your family, business, transaction and the like. As there are paid sites that give out criminal records, there are also sites that do it for free. It is up to you to decide whether to go for paid or pro-bono ones.

Criminal Defense Lawyer's Advice: What Is Date Rape And How Can It Be Prevented?

When folks imagine rape, they might think of a stranger jumping from a shadowy spot and sexually attacking a person. But it's not just strangers that rape. Actually, about 50 % of those who are raped know the individual who assaulted them. Girls and women are most often raped, but guys also can be raped. Most friendships, acquaintances, and dates never lead to violence, of course. But, regrettably, it sometimes takes place. When forced intercourse happens among two people who know one another, it's called date rape or acquaintance rape.

Understanding date rape as a social issue is very difficult because of conceptual differences about even what comprises "rape". It both reflects and is mirrored by political and sociological differences in ways of viewing gender roles, personal obligation, and social norms. Debates on this subject often reflect polarized opinions where the points of argument are considered as "radical feminism" or "misogynistic". Similarly, institutional reactions, including efforts within the criminal justice system have been difficult to create. Universities and colleges, settings in which date rape is considered a common problem, have tried to develop policies and guidelines for avoidance and discipline which can be unwieldy and unenforceable.

This crime additionally occurs when one person forces another person to have sex. This criminal offense is a felony offense. The main difference between rape and date rape is that in cases of this particular rape, the victim consented to spend time with the assailant. Probably the target even went out together with the attacker a few times. Date rape remains to be rape. In recent years a new kind of rape hazard has reared its ugly head at functions, on campuses as well as in nightclubs - so named "predator" or "date rape" medications. Exactly what are these types of medicines? Technically speaking, any substance that makes you incapable of saying no or asserting yourself as well as your needs may be used to commit rape. This can contain things like alcoholic beverages, cannabis or other street drugs, designer or club drugs like ecstasy, over-the-counter sleeping pills and antihistamines, even cold medications.

These crimes are destructive. Not only is this type of violence a breach in itself but the target has been hurt by someone she earlier trusted. It's a betrayal that makes victims have to learn to trust people all over again. This is not an easily achieved task.

If you have been date raped, follow these steps: Do not wash or douche. You don't want to wash out any kind of proof which could be used against your assailant in court. Contact the authorities, especially a criminal defense lawyer and tell them what went down. If you're afraid to contact the police, call up your neighborhood rape crisis center. Visit an emergency room. While there, you will be examined. A doctor will make a record of your injuries and treat you. Samples of any kind of fluid remaining inside the vagina or anus (particularly sperm) are going to be collected. Hair, pieces of clothes, or other items left by the attacker may also be used. These samples may be used to help identify and convict your attacker.

Discounts on Designer Clothes - The Best Christmas Gift!

Christmas time means shopping time. Celebrations call for new clothes and the Christmas time becomes the perfect excuse for refreshing those old closets. With Christmas carols, chocolate covered candy hearts, stuffed turkey and New Year round the corner; new dresses seem to be a must. But with all the other expenses of shopping, gifts, celebrations and decorations, you always have to let go one of the favorite piece of clothing you were longing for.

With so many expenses piled up there is always something that you have to sacrifice. But blessed be those stores which offer special festive season discounts. With Discount Designer Clothes you can somehow manage to buy everything you had an eye on. With the festive season starts the time for get-together. Repeating the dress you wore on some other occasion among the same people is almost criminal, so you ought to have your refill of Celebrity clothing. On family dinners and parties with friends, choosing what to wear is one of the biggest ordeals and it becomes more important than anything else to have sufficient number of dresses so as to be complimented on every dinner you too.

One of the best ways to shop is to shop online. Online designer stores often have much more variety and at times you can spot pieces which you may not get otherwise. Besides being exceedingly comfortable and easy, online shopping also proves to be more economical than shopping otherwise. You can often strike some genius bargains that are almost a steal. Many awesome brands like Soul Revival Clothing, Sledge, Wild fox, Testament etc. are available online and that too at great prices.

Intro To Criminal Justice Courses Teaches Students About Crime History And Trends

What if, after spending much of your life in Key West, Fla., you stripped down to your birthday suit at a bar in Toledo, Oh.? In Key West, after all, clothing in the saloons can be optional. What's more, dress code signs aren't always all that specific.

An Introduction to Criminal Justice course typically explains the definition of crimes and criminals. Students in Introduction to Criminal Justice often learn about how laws in different places have changed throughout history. They might also come to understand how people in England once believed that criminals maintained a crime "gene" and how experts in the United States now suggest a variety of aspects can cause someone to commit crimes - or prevent them from doing so.

Fast forward to the future, as many Introduction to Criminal Justice courses might do. A 2006 National Institute of Justice Journal article suggests that technology, changing demographics and terrorism are to affect criminal justice systems worldwide into 2040. A more global society also is expected to have an effect, according to the National Institute of Justice Journal article.

Think there are differences in laws when traveling from Key West to Toledo? In a global society, the borders that separate nations vanish. People become more mobile and, with economies, become more blended. As it stands, a recent Palm Beach Post report suggested that nearly 5,000 women were murdered between 2000 and 2009 in Guatemala, where attitudes toward violence against them have been different than they might be elsewhere.

Christopher E. Stone, a criminal justice professor with an Ivy League university, points out that people from different regions also speak different languages and might have different expectations when it comes to the roles of attorneys and judges. In the National Institute of Justice Journal report, he notes that exchanging information with different countries might cause prosecution systems to change. As it stands, professionals involved with an International Crime Court are coming up with new procedures that might affect what happens in the countries from which they hail.

In the National Institute of Justice Journal article, Stone also brings up areas such as technology, prison designs and consulting services and their relationship in a more global society. He addresses changes as far as criminal justice systems in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and England are concerned. Stone also talks about law enforcement oversight on the part of civilians in some countries.

Students might take Introduction to Criminal Justice in instances where they're considering a major or have one in mind. Because the field is varied, students might be pursuing studies that can lead them to careers in areas such as law, law enforcement, social work and investigations. Students in Introduction to Criminal Justice might gain a broad overview of these fields and then study them in greater depth as they proceed in their studies.

Tips to Prepare for Your Criminal Trial

If you have been put on notice of an upcoming trial in your criminal case it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure that both you and your attorney are fully prepared. By properly preparing you give yourself the best chance of a favorable outcome. This article is designed to provide basic guidance to defendants and their families in both misdemeanor and felony criminal cases.

1. Ensure that you have identified all of your witnesses and have provided their contact information to your attorney. Determine whether or not your witnesses will voluntarily appear or if arrangements need to be made to formally subpoena them. By reviewing your witnesses with your attorney in advance of trial you provide an opportunity for both your lawyer and your witness to prepare for their testimony. Further by ensuring that your witness is notified of your Court date in advance allows them to make necessary arrangements for child care, work or travel as necessary.

2. Review your fee arrangements with your attorney and any expert witnesses that you have retained. You do not want to put your attorney in the position of preparing for your trial with any uncertaintly as to whether or not they are going to be paid. If you have any expert witnesses who are not paid in advance of trial they may not show up to testify on your behalf.

3. Plan on what you are going to wear. If you are going to be appearing in front of a judge or jury on a serious case it is important that you look your best. Make sure that your clothes are professionally cleaned and pressed. Shine your shoes. If you do not have a properly fitting suit, shirt or tie buy new ones. If you do not know how to pick out clothes for Court ask your attorney for help.

4. More on looking your best - You may need to consider if you need to cover up any tattoos. Ideally you should not have any tattoos visible in Court during your trial. You may also need a haircut of a manicure. These details may matter - especially if your credibility is going to be considered by the Court.

5. Prepare for last minute plea negotiations. Often times the prosecution may make a last ditch plea offer immediately before your trial is to begin. These offers may the be same as have been made before or may be different (not necessarily better). You can be placed under substantial pressure by the Court to make a quick decision - and in fact may be given only seconds or minutes to decide in some cases.

6. Review your case with your lawyer. Understand what elements the prosecution must prove and by what evidence they will try to use. If you have not already done so ask to review a copy of your case discovery with your attorney. To prepare for any last minute plea negotiations you should understand what the minimum and maximum sentence could be and what the tendencies of your trial judge are.

The Craftiness of Criminality

Clever criminals hide inside each of us. Like the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing, human nature easily spans the realm from the normal to the abnormal. People are capable of anything, both good and bad. Regardless of the socio-economic status, criminal behavior can cross any social boundary lines. Crimes large and small happen every day. Just because some are minor doesn't mean they're less important. Such incidents are still crimes. For most of us though, the criminal is the other guy. Not us of course. We're quick to point the finger, gossip and pass judgment. Roll our eyes, stick out tongue and shoot a finger, everyone dislikes someone. Holy virtues are always at war with deadly sins. We don't like to let on that the only reason we're not him or her is because we didn't get caught. Although, in everyday life, we've probably had some similar thought. Motives, intentions and proclivities run deep in the dark recesses of the human brain. Sometimes, we call it the mind, an illusion the brain chemistry creates. Our perception of criminal behavior is a conception based on denial of our complicity in self-conceit. At the same time, some of us make choices, albeit poor ones, to plan, execute and carry out own desires, urges and yearnings. However, once apprehended, there are a myriad of excuses surface from that personal inner sanctum of cunning craftiness. Yes, we're sneaky, sly and shrewd. Some of us are really good at it.

From running stop signs to cheating on taxes, or drugging a date for sex, we'd do anything if we thought we'd get away with it. Wily and devious, the human cerebral processes fantasize an amazing range of possibilities. Our entire entertainment industry, from the news media to public policy, offers escapism in one form or another. The more tragic the story the better the ratings factor. Fact is traded for fiction and myth becomes reality. Not too long ago, responsibility and accountability became the twin relics of lost ethical principles. Moral absolutes have been replaced. Precepts of morality are quickly traded for easy answers and comfortable feelings. Instead toughening up, we search for ways to explain away the failure of leadership, a crisis of integrity or so called lapses of judgment. Politicians, the press and the priestly class know these sleight of hand tactics all too well. Throughout society, at every level, we've covered our tracks. There are so many more psychological ailments than ever before. When push comes to shove, we'll find some reason to rationalize the heinous commission of injury to another. The age of hypocrisy, double-speak and passing the blame has fallen on contemporary society. In short, we can justify anything, concoct conspiracies and slip away quietly while no one is watching.

As a public, we love a good mystery, brazen tragedy or major crisis. We'll shut down an interstate system just to get a glimpse of roadside carnage. So often, we cleverly overlook our own ability to make decisions, select alternatives and otherwise exercise the freedom of our willfulness. When it comes to committing crimes, criminals are no different than the rest of us. Behavior is one of making choices. Elementary issues relate to rational exercises of personal freedom. From ideation to commission, criminals premeditate their actions into self-gratifying activities.

Being crafty, clever and cunning, some criminals, like the rest of population, are better skilled than others. Sly and devious, perpetrators of criminal behavior are people who've made choice to break the law. They're self-centeredness is a primary characteristic of their overall personality. From psychology to psychopathology, the continuum is one of connectivity to the inner urges of self-indulgent proclivities. Trespassing across the boundaries of another is a breach by which perpetrator find alluring, tempting and seductive. To them, other people are a means to an end. It's a matter of getting what they want, when they want it and where ever they can get it. Their intended victim is an objective. They'll stalk, hunt and prey on someone or something they perceive belongs to them. Criminals go after targets of opportunity, given the selected environmental conditions, and abilities for personal gain. The challenge, temptation and enticement relate to individual motives, inclinations and desires. Aware of the risks, they take the steps necessary to achieve their goals. Objectives depend on the skill-set of the mindset.

Like the rest of us, criminals apply their talents, abilities and capacities to the crime that fits their needs. From political corruption, to corporate embezzlement, to armed robbery and murder, we all have potentials for committing a range of anti-social behaviors. While some commit infractions, others commit murder. Yet, the inherent motivations are the same. It's all about personal gain, such as love or money, and the variations of these two basic themes. On occasion, it could be power, dominance and control that turn one on. Gives excitement to the senses and provokes the acquisition of the objective in question. Or, the love of self or obsessive possession of another person. Just depends on individual ideation, fantasy and motivation. Within this secret realm of the fantasy, there is the sowing of expectation to extend into the real world. Ideation loves the fruition of the subconscious into the reality of the conscious. From inside these darkened reaches comes the intention of carrying out a criminal act.

Criminals see themselves as clever, creative and competent within the sphere of their criminality. But, then again, don't we all dream of getting away with some unconventional activity? Display our arrogance in a number of ways, means and motions? Or, coming into possession of something for nothing? While some of us divert ourselves into acceptable diversions, those who don't prefer the deviance of crime. We chose what we do and know why we do it. People don't suddenly one day up and "snap", "go off the deep end", or "fly off the handle". The feelings inside have been building, plotting and scheming over a period of time. Premeditation is a uniquely human activity. By reason and rationality, we pursue our goals for a purpose. Likewise, so does the person who chooses to accept a bribe, carry out treason or report fraudulent news stories. Similar to other endeavors, criminality spans the spectrum of crimes of choice. While some may have a preferred method of operation, they are capable of changing, adapting and altering the nature of their criminality. As such, the mysteries of the mental processes are more complex than we can predict. The problem of predictability is compounded by the fact that we all share a heritage. The criminal inclination is part of human nature. To know what a criminal looks like, all one has to do is look in the mirror.

For the individual, deviating from accepted social norms harbors seductive possibilities. The sensual transcends the sexual and evolves into the spiritual realm of our thinking processes. We make it so, by virtue of our choices. Inherent in the design of human nature is the propensity to depart from the rules by acts of disobedience. That is, of course, if we choose to do so. Likewise, we can agree not to deviate. From the allegory of the first fall, to the perceptions of postmodern society, allusions abound in the metaphorical depictions of free-will selectivity. Yet, we ignore the fine detail. Bottom line, conscious decisions are made to do things we want to do. Cleverly, we seek out repetitive behaviors, seeking the pleasurable delights in the gain we obtain. The core of our essential personality harbors the contents of thoughts, fantasies and desires. We cloak them is a myriad of deceptions. Fooling everyone, from family members to authorities. When caught, we fabricate a mystery. Tell tales of tall stories. Find as many excuses as we can. But, in the end, we have to realize you don't catch criminality like the common cold.

On a simpler level, we think we're crafty in our criminality. Misbehavior becomes an attractive alternative attached to the libidinous notions of our sexuality. Instead of the boredom of "law abiding" community service, our clever sense of ourselves brazens the transgressions of cross the lines. Producing the sensations of a psychic "high", the craft of criminality provides the release of pent-up desires. Hidden notions of private motivations. Astute, shrewd and devious, people play roles. Posture in public and private performances to bring out their inner thoughts. Test the reality of the real-world from within the depths of mental proclivities. But, not completely. Only the tip of the iceberg ever emerges above the surface. In the process, they fool the best of us. From psychics to psychologists, from profilers to politicians, cops and the community, the con job pervades the public policies of societal institutions. Acting out "stupidity" in public allows people to escape responsibility. We project wishful thinking. In the vicarious witness of a bizarre heinous act, we rush to judgment. Pull out the straightjackets and conclude only a "crazy" person does things like that. Yeah, crazy like a fox.

The craft of criminality has fostered whole industries of various "schools of thought". Some are innovative, creative and some are ridiculous. All the while, most of us miss the point. We overlook the decidedly dangerous dark side of humanity. People can be cunning, sly and devilish. They can change, alter and transform their thinking, behavior and methods of operation. And, from an investigative standpoint, our hope is that we're cleverer and craftier than the criminals think they are. Or, for that matter, we got to be better at "fighting crime" than they think we are. Criminal arrogance views the rest of us "law abiding souls" as being foolish, gullible and naïve. We have to follow the evidence trail. And, perform our criminal behavioral assessments by careful crime scene analysis, astute investigative follow-up and determined innovative processes. Caution must be exercised in the face of quick fix fads of contemporary fiction instead the facts. Our theories and conclusions must adapt to changing situations, circumstances and pursue the technology affecting forensic evidence. People aren't necessarily stupid, even though they act that way. But, they do make mistakes and rely on our misconceptions about criminal behavior. The craftiness of criminality is the sleight of hand magic of postmodern societ

Criminal Damage - Straight From the Streets

Established in 1991 in London's East End they set out from the start to tap into every trend, then give it its own unique touch to create something new and fresh. Their designers work under minimal constraint, allowing creative freedom to rule the day, resulting in innovative designs that speak from the streets with a rich heritage to fall back upon. The results are some of the most powerful eye-catching pieces to enter the menswear arena at the moment.

A lot of people have come across Criminal Damage because of their influence within the music scene, it was a relationship that started during the 90s, which was a hotbed of creativity blended with a new, fresh urban/street scene - the brand tapped into this vast resource and positioned itself in a world that was greatly appreciative. This is a situation that is still as fruitful now as it ever was, with high profile celebs still investing in the brand and being photographed wearing their designs onstage and off.

Back in '91 the East End of London wasn't quite the creative, cultural hub that it is today but since they are still based there they can bask in the reflected glory that this area of the capital is beaming out right now. Interestingly, the Shoreditch scene is known for being a real representation of youthful creative energy, direct from the street - which falls directly in line with the ethics of Criminal Damage.

Street wear is enjoying a resurgence almost at the same level of the 90s heydays right now, this is creating a generation of connoisseurs who only buy into brands with a hefty reputation. With so much choice they can afford to be picky, selecting only the freshest pieces from collections that are progressive and putting out the strongest collections of the season. Judging from the latest releases from Criminal damage they fall into the bracket of a brand worth spending some money on. They're not a one trick pony either as they put out a varied array of apparel from varsity jackets to shirts - all with the same level of attention to detail put into the design process.

We've all heard about the testing financial times we're in, but let's face it - if brands don't cut it right now then they will sink into obscurity and potentially not come back. Doesn't look like there's any such fears for Criminal Damage, I'm expecting to see them around for a good many years yet.