Legal Defenses in Criminal Law

Facing criminal charges includes the possible loss of liberties and freedoms that are guaranteed by our Constitution. Criminal defense is very complex and requires someone who understands the law from many different angles.

If you are charged with a crime, you might wonder what legal defense is available to you and your specific case. With criminal defense lawyers in Atlanta and Elberton, Dyal Jenkins has the experience and knowledge to help you navigate your criminal case.

Here are some options for legal defense strategies that your criminal defense attorney in Georgia will be familiar with and will explain to you during your case consultation and throughout the duration of your case.

  1. Innocence

Defense of innocence is one of the simplest defenses to criminal liability. This defense is raised when you did not commit the crime. Remember, the prosecution must prove every element of the crime charged against you and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

To be innocent you and your criminal defense attorney do not have to prove anything. However, you have the option of offering testimony, documents, and other evidence in support of your innocence. Your criminal defense lawyer will advise you if and when you should offer evidence.


  1. Constitutional Violations

An attorney in Georgia will consider constitutional violation defense in criminal trials. This involves the way evidence was collected by law enforcement. Your criminal defense attorney will check for constitutional violations because they could result in dismissal of the entire case!

Your criminal defense attorney will give you some examples of constitutional violations which could include:

  • illegal search and seizure of your home, car, clothing, or person
  • failure to obtain a warrant for entry
  • obtaining an improper confession
  • failure to read you your “Miranda Rights” at the time of arrest
  1. Alibi

The alibi defense is an affirmative defense. This it means that the defendant must prove that he or she was somewhere other than the scene when the crime was committed.

Your criminal defense attorney in Atlanta will help you gather evidence to prove your alibi. This evidence might include:

  • testimony from someone you were with
  • surveillance footage
  • receipts from a place of business
  • phone records
  1. Insanity

The insanity defense means that either the defendant was unable to distinguish right from wrong when the crime was committed, or the defendant had an “irresistible impulse” to commit a crime, meaning that the he or she knew what they were doing was wrong but was unable to stop doing it.

The insanity defense is rarely raised by criminal defense attorneys for two reasons:

  1. The insanity defense is another affirmative defense, which requires that the defendant and criminal defense attorneys prove that the defendant was suffering a severe mental defect at the time the crime was committed.
  2. The criminal defense lawyer will require the defendant to admit that they committed the crime. If the jury does not believe the defendant and his or her criminal defense attorney, then the prosecution will have a strong case using the defendant’s own words.
  3. A successful insanity defense generally results in institutionalization.

Courtroom dramas often show criminal defense attorneys raising the insanity defense, but in reality, it is rare.


At Dyal Jenkins, we have experienced criminal defense attorneys in Georgia who have also seen things from the judges’ perspective, having previously worked as prosecutor for the state, and successfully defended individuals charged with crimes.

From traffic tickets to DUIs to serious felony offenses, call Dyal Jenkins for excellent representation from experienced criminal defense attorneys in Atlanta or Elberton.


Make the first call the right call. Dyal Jenkins.

Atlanta Office: (404) 919-7297

Elberton Office: (706) 283-8240


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