What is a Defense Strategy, Why It’s Important, and What to Think About When Building One

Being accused of any crime is a nerve-racking and stressful experience. You start hearing questions from your family like, “What are we going to do now?” To be honest, you’re worriedly wondering the same thing. What you need is the counsel of a defense attorney so that you can work out the best defense strategy that will get you your best result possible.

However now you may be wondering, “Just how do we set up that defense strategy?” One thing to remember is that your defense attorney will be with you during the entire process. You and your defense attorney work on it together. It is built around the information gathered about the prosecution’s evidence and your version of the events.

We’ve all heard on TV lines like, “Don’t tell your lawyer whether you’re innocent or guilty.” Actually, it is best to be completely open and honest with your defense attorney. It is true that a defense attorney is prohibited from promoting that which he knows to be false. But if the defense attorney is unaware of your full version of the truth it makes it hard and sometimes impossible to build the best defense strategy. Remember that even if you think your guilty your true story may reveal holes in the prosecution’s evidence, it may reveal problems with police procedure on obtaining evidence and it may reveal that you’re actually guilty of a lesser crime than what you’re being charged for or than you think you are guilty of.

When you give your story to your defense attorney it will probably be in one of three formats.

Some do give a “confession story”. That is, they admit to their defense attorney that they in fact agree with the prosecution’s version of the story. Most that do this are looking for a plea bargain or a lessening of the sentence. But do give your whole version to your defense attorney. The law is complex. You may not be guilty. They may find that there is not enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or they may find that the case can be pushed to be dropped due to the way the evidence was obtained.

Next there is the “full denial” story. This is where the defendant claims they had no involvement with the crime. Of course if this is the case you are very much in need of a defense attorney. Commonly, someone who claims complete innocence will do so with an alibi. Remember that the rules of evidence do need to be followed. For example, if your fingerprints are at the scene of a crime that will need to have a reasonable explanation. Also, if you’re using an alibi, you will want to be able to produce evidence to back that up.

Many defendants choose to give an “admit but explain” story. This is where you admit at least partially to the crime but also give an explanation to a justifiable reason that the crime happened. One example would be self-defense in a murder case. There is nothing wrong with this. Many great defense strategies are able to be made out of such stories.

When you are telling your story remember that there are a few elements it will need. It will need to be consistent with the evidence – remember what was said earlier about the fingerprints. You will want it to potentially get sympathy from a judge or jury. Quite often this will depend on how something is said more than what is said. Realize your defense attorney will help you understand how that can be done. Plus you will want the reasons for your version and evidence to back it up if you can.

Lastly, you will want to pay attention to the coaching that your defense attorney gives. Yes, it is ultimately your case and so you will want to ask questions and raise any concerns you may have. But it should be remembered that though every case is different your defense attorney has seen what has worked and will be working tirelessly to provide for you your best result possible. So, if asked to be in mock interview or write your story down or break down in detail what the prosecution is doing – remember that all these practices are with your best interests in mind.

So work with your Seattle Tacoma defense attorney so that the best defense strategy can be made and get the best result. Please call Smith & White, PLLC – the first consult is free.

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