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No matter the crime you’ve been accused of, appearing in court is a necessity. But when you appear in court, it should be with an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. And even before then, you need to familiarize yourself with different types of criminal defense. While you may not be representing yourself in court, knowing the basics of how you’ll be defended is important. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common types of criminal defense.

Affirmative Defense
Defenses that accept some of the prosecution’s evidence as true while proving other aspect of the charges false are called affirmative defenses. These defenses often require the highest amount of collaboration between a defendant and their attorney, as evidence must be gathered that disproves one or more of the charges given. For example, an alibi would be a piece of evidence that attorneys would want.

Insanity Defense
Although this type of defense is often used on the big screen, it’s rarely used. And when it is used, it’s rarely successful. This type of defense operates on the principal that while you may have committed the alleged crime, you were not aware of your action. For this defense to even be considered plausible by criminal defense lawyers, a severe mental illness or defect must be present.

Coercion and Duress Defense
The basis of this defense is that you were essentially forced into committing a crime. If you’re working with a drug lawyer on possession charges or something along those lines, you must prove that you were threatened with unlawful force to take part in the alleged crime. This also includes blackmail, which means if a family member or friend was threatened, a coercion defense may have a chance.

While these defenses may not work for every criminal case, such as car accidents caused by the 660,000 drivers manipulating electronic devices, they are fairly well-known. And before you hire a criminal defense attorney, you should understand what kind of defense is available to you. Don’t go into a situation like this without some background knowledge first.