About Me

Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


Latest Posts

Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Three Criminal Defenses You Can Plead When It's Obvious That "You Did It"

by Andrew Martin

In any criminal case, you have a right to plead that you are not guilty, or that there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are guilty of the crime for which you are being charged.

However, in many situations, pleading not guilty is not the wisest option if you and your lawyer are fairy certain there is enough evidence available to prove that you did commit the crime. This does not mean you should just sit back and take whatever punishment is handed to you. There are still three key defenses you can plead to justify your reasons for committing the crime -- possibly leading to a reduced sentence, or even no sentence at all.


Obviously, this plea only works for some crimes. You can't claim you robbed a liquor store in self-defense, or that you sold illegal substances to your neighbor in self-defense. However, if you are being accused of assault and battery, or perhaps even of criminal slander, you and your lawyer —like one at Kaiser Law Group — may be able to argue that you only acted as you did in order to protect yourself from harm.

In order to prove you were only defending yourself, you will have to present evidence to the court that shows you were in danger or threatened by the party who you injured. Keep in mind there are limits to the amount of force you can use in self-defense. Typically, if you use more force than the judge or jury feel is reasonable based on the threat you were faced with, you'll be named guilty of the crime. For instance, if someone threatens to punch you and you shoot them in the chest, this will likely be deemed excessive force.

It's a common misconception that you cannot plead self-defense if you were the one who "threw the first punch." However, if you had reason to assume you were about to be harmed and acted to prevent the attack, you can still plead self-defense.


When you plead entrapment as a defense to criminal charges, you are essentially claiming that you had no intent to commit a crime, but law enforcement officers persuaded or coerced you to do so. For instance, if you were approached by an undercover police officer and told that you would be severely injured if you did not try to sell drugs to a person down the street, you can plead that you were "entrapped" to commit the crime.

Pleading entrapment is very difficult, as you must present clear evidence that any reasonable individual would have committed the crime if put into the situation you were in. However, in some states, defendants can plead entrapment by preponderance of evidence, rather than by reasonable doubt. This essentially means that the judge or jury can accept a plea of entrapment if they think there is more than a 50% chance that you were, in fact, entrapped to commit a crime.


When you plead insanity, you are essentially admitting that you committed the crime, but arguing that you should not be held criminally responsible because you were not of sound state of mind when you did so. Pleading insanity will not simply "get you off the hook." Even if you are found not guilty by reason of insanity, you'll likely be required to spend time in a mental institution. Thus, most lawyers recommend against pleasing insanity unless you really, truly do suffer from mental illness and have committed a very serious crime, such as murder.

Insanity defenses are rather uncommon, accounting for less than 1% of all felony cases. Since defendants are carefully analyzed by psychiatrists and doctors when they make such a plea, faking insanity in a case is essentially impossible. However, if mental illness really did contribute to your criminal activity, then you should at least discuss the possibility of this defense with your attorney.

Pleading self-defense, entrapment, or insanity in a criminal case is not easy. If you have committed a crime and believe that you may have a plea that fits into one of these categories, be sure to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.