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What Personal Defenses Work in a Criminal Case?

Special Personal Defenses Criminal Defense

There are many different common defenses that a criminal defense attorney may employ during criminal court cases. The most popular and well known defenses include the insanity, infancy, duress, and entrapment.

Another criminal defense that is occasionally employed in criminal court cases is the urban survival defense. This criminal defense is generally used to support minority defendants or offenders who reside in an inner-city or crime prone area and who are responsible for murder or other violent crimes.

The criminal defense attorney will argue that individuals who live in these violent areas learn quickly that the only way to protect themselves from violence is to be proactive and to eliminate anyone who threatens them, because in these types of areas, threats are usually carried out.

Therefore, as a matter of survival, their client wholeheartedly believed that they needed to take part in criminal activity in order to protect themselves from serious physical injury or death. These two defenses have been used numerous times in various different criminal court cases.

One criminal defense that has been rarely used, but still has precedence of being used in the United States, is the gay panic defense. A criminal defense attorney may employ this defense in criminal court cases in which the defendant has battered or murdered a homosexual individual who was of the same sex as the offender.

When utilizing this defense the defendant is claiming that they became so outraged and horrified by the sexual suggestions and progressions of the victim that they suffered from a psychotic condition causing uncharacteristic violence.

The black rage defense, meanwhile, was developed by criminal defense attorneys for a particular case but was not actually utilized because the defendant fired his lawyers before the trial in favor of self-representation. However, the black rage defense has gained national attention in the realm of law.

This defense suggests that black individuals who are living in a white-dominated, discriminatory, and racist society suffer from psychological problems and damage that causes them to act unusually, and sometimes violently, under certain circumstances.

The biological defense, sometimes referred to as the "Twinkie defense," argues that the defendant was experiencing abnormal biological factors at the time of the crime that caused the offender to act out of character or to experience severe mood swings resulting in depression, anger, and violence. This defense is generally not considered to be an effective criminal defense, but it may be successful in lessening the defendant's culpability, as was the case in the 1979 criminal proceedings of Dan White.

In most cases, criminal defense attorneys employ the use of safe and reliable criminal defenses in order to diminish their client's liability. However, in some instances a lawyer will strategically develop a unique and atypical criminal defense, and on rare occasions these defenses may be successful in negating the defendant's accountability

NEXT: What You Must Know About Special Defenses

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