defense | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

In the criminal law context, a defense is a legal argument or theory that is raised by the accused in an effort to avoid or reduce criminal liability.

There are many different types of defenses that can be raised in a criminal case, and the specific defenses available depend on the crime’s nature and the case’s circumstances. Some common defenses in criminal cases include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, necessity, and insanity. The burden of proof for a defense is typically on the accused, who must present evidence to support the defense. If the defense is successful, it can result in a complete acquittal or a reduction in the charges or penalties faced by the accused.

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Last Modified: 01/09/2023


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