Criminal law is like a game of chess. Every move made in the process is either a step forward or backward from justice being served. We’ve drafted this article to break down the different strategies lawyers use to defend those who’ve been accused of criminal charges. 

From self-defense to insanity, this article will show you how attorneys used several defenses to build a case. If you want to learn more about these strategies, feel free to visit

Now, let’s dive straight into the different types of legal defenses used in criminal law. Here are the most common types:


The defendant can use self-defense as a shield. The law allows individuals to employ force or violence to safeguard themselves in the face of danger.

The attorney has to provide evidence that the defendant only used the amount of force necessary to protect themselves from harm. The plaintiff is often tagged as the primary cause of the impending harm.


Innocence is a very vital defense in criminal law. It’s equivalent to telling the court, “I didn’t do it,” but you need to have undoubted evidence to back your claims, or else no one will believe you. Lawyers work to gather alibis and witness statements to prove your innocence.

Oftentimes, the lack of incriminating evidence is one of the most powerful tools an attorney uses to get their clients off the hook.

This defense functions on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” While the prosecuting attorney works to show the court that you’re responsible for the crime at hand, your defense attorney counters all their attempts and gets you a pass by pointing out reasonable doubt and loopholes in the case.


Some individuals, due to severe mental illness, cannot understand that their actions are wrong. When these individuals commit a crime, their attorneys can argue the insanity defense. 

A mental health expert will be called to evaluate the defendant. The expert’s testimony of impaired health could work in the defendant’s favor.

Mental duress

People sometimes commit crimes because they have been pushed to a breaking point. In their minds, their only option forward was to commit the crime, even though their true intent did not support this action. 

With an attorney by their side, the defendant can convince the jury that their mental health was threatened and that they acted out of psychological coercion.


Mistakes aren’t a free pass on crime, but when a person acknowledges their misunderstanding of the law or facts, they can get off the hook. They also have to prove that they did not know or believe that their actions at the time were illegal.


An excessive intake of alcohol and drugs often triggers people to commit crimes they wouldn’t have done if they were sober. There are two types in this case:

  • Self-induced 
  • Involuntary (drugged without consent)

The defense will argue that the person’s impaired state played a role in forming the intent required to commit the crime. 

Wrapping Up

The legal landscape is fascinating, with lawyers and attorneys working tirelessly to protect their clients’ rights. There are several other types of defenses lawyers use to get their clients off the hook, but the above-mentioned are the most popular.

If you ever find yourself facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney. They will provide all the assistance you need.


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