20 Best Criminal Defense Attorney Strategies

| May 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

The Baker Law Firm- Phoenix Criminal Lawyers

Here is an overview of how our Phoenix criminal lawyers win or get cases dismissed for our clients using the best criminal defense lawyer strategies and tactics. 


These proven criminal defense tactics and strategies have evolved from many years of experience in handling thousands of criminal law cases and they set The Baker Law Firm- Phoenix Criminal Lawyers apart from other defense lawyers in Phoenix. 

Crafting the best possible criminal defense strategy: 


  • Witness testimony and credibility.
  • Provable facts
  • Physical evidence.
  • Police report documents, errors and credibility or potential misconduct. 
  • Expert witnesses, 3rd party reports and testimony at trial. 
  • Arizona Revised Statutes and the required crime elements to prove beyond reasonable doubt. 
  • Criminal prosecutor strategy, experience, & history.
  • Judicial precedent
  • Jury Instructions


The primary task of the best Phoenix criminal defense lawyer is to select the best possible criminal defense tactics and strategies after investigating a case’s facts and the circumstances.


Since each case is unique, the best criminal defense attorney will weigh all factors to design,  first, a case theory and then secondly, the criminal defense law strategy that’s most likely to result in a positive outcome for the accused. 


Criminal defense strategies are legal arguments and actions that are taken by a criminal defense lawyer to get criminal charges dismissed and secure a defendant’s freedom. A criminal lawyer will seek to expose any legal flaws and doubts about elements the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to win a conviction. 


If you’re facing prison or harsh penalties, it’s vitally important and just makes good sense to consult with the best criminal lawyer in Phoenix

Criminal Lawyer Strategies For Dismissal Or Acquittal 


  1. Mistaken identity 


Mistaken identity by a witness happens more times than you can imagine. Incorrect witness identification is a major cause of incorrect accusations. This happens when a person’s description is similar to a criminal perpetrator, if a witness assumes someone committed a crime due to circumstances, or they can be trying to accuse someone else for a crime they in fact committed.


  1. Accident


Most offenses in Arizona law are for deliberate offenses in which the violator intentionally carried out the crime. 


Key takeaways:


If your Phoenix criminal lawyer can show the act to be accidental and without criminal intent, there is a substantial defense against the charge. Even if it is a first degree murder charge.


  1. Under duress or immediate danger


If somebody carries out a crime simply because they believed they were in immediate risk of danger, their actions might not be considered a crime since they were made under duress or dire circumstances. 


  1. Beyond a reasonable doubt


The more serious the potential consequences, the higher the legal threshold. Because of that, criminal charges require the highest standard to prove: 


Proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 


Key legal issues that are required to get the prosecutor to the threshold of “beyond reasonable doubt” start with the following lower standards: 


  1. Reasonable Suspicion
  1. Probable Cause
  2. Preponderance of the Evidence
  3. Clearing and Convincing Evidence
  4. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt


In 1970, the US Supreme Court ruled that the US Constitution requires that the prosecution must meet a strict “beyond reasonable doubt” legal threshold when establishing guilt of criminal charges for both adults and juveniles.


Therefore, under US statutes, the more serious the consequences, the higher the burden of proof generally should be. Since criminal convictions involve potential loss of liberty in prison, the highest standard of proof applies.


Beyond reasonable doubt is the requirement that the evidence presented at trial be so convincing that no reasonable person would ever question the defendant’s guilt. 


The beyond reasonable doubt standard also requires:


  • The jury (or in some cases, the judge) must be firmly convinced that the defendant is guilty 


This strict standard favors defendants because:


  • The criminal defense team only needs to merely establish reasonable doubt about any single one of the key elements required for the crime to succeed. 


The Baker Law Firm, Phoenix criminal lawyers will make clear to juries that thinking the defendant committed the crime is not sufficient for a conviction. 


Key takeaway: 


If a juror or jury only thinks the defendant committed the crime, this does not achieve the “beyond reasonable doubt” threshold. 


Jurors must be firmly convinced after considering all the facts that there is no doubt remaining and that there is only one logical conclusion left: the defendant is guilty. 


Keep in mind that criminal jury instructions by the judge will remind all 12 jurors that they must unanimously agree on the verdict to convict.


  1. Defendant has an alibi


A defendant cannot be guilty of many offenses if their criminal lawyer can positively prove that they were elsewhere when the crime occurred and therefore could not have committed the alleged crime.


  1. Entrapment


Entrapment occurs when a normally law-abiding person commits an offense by being persuaded or initiated by law enforcement to violate the law.


This occurs most often with:


Various different types of undercover law enforcement operations. Entrapment is most often raised by the best criminal lawyers in Phoenix as a defense in court for prostitution, child pornography and drug crimes.


  1. Police misconduct


Unfortunately there are some law enforcement officials who commit misconduct during their investigations.   Not many, but some. Police officers may be trying to cover up an error they made during their investigation or they may just be completely convinced that a suspect is guilty and they engage in misleading or exaggerating their facts to build a stronger case.


Misconduct by police can take many forms. Here are some examples:


  • Misleading courtroom testimony or in their report documents.
  • Improperly handling, planting or doctoring evidence.
  • Coercing witnesses and/or suspects.


These are not common occurrences but must be considered.  If your Phoenix criminal lawyer can identify and prove police misconduct, that can provide  excellent leverage for dismissing your case and potentially pursuing a civil rights claim seeking monetary damages.


  1. Compelled, coerced, or false confessions


In many cases, police have been known to coerce false admissions from innocent suspects using different mental strategies and even physical threats, starvation, and sleep deprivation.


Juveniles are particularly vulnerable to coercion. If a criminal attorney trial tactics can show evidence of coercion, then a case can be made to have the admission tossed out and excluded from evidence.


  1. No probable cause


In 1968, the US Supreme Court ruled that it is reasonable for an officer to stop an individual absent probable cause to arrest, as long as he can point to “specific articulable facts” that justify “probable cause” for the stop, search and arrest of that person. On the other hand, the absence of “specific articulable facts”, effectively negates probable cause. 


Key takeaway:


If there is no legitimate probable cause, the best defense lawyers in Phoenix can immediately file a motion to suppress any improperly obtained evidence. If key evidence is then suppressed, this can cause a case to be dismissed for lack of evidence. 


  1. Falsely accused


It’s unfortunate but some criminal defendants are falsely accused of violations they did not commit.  

For example, child abuse, sex crimes, and domestic violence accusations can be made without any physical evidence.


Top Phoenix criminal lawyers can work to obtain a retraction of the accusation, show evidence that the accusations were false or impugn the credibility of the accuser during testimony. 


  1. Mistake of fact


If an alleged crime was made under a reasonable and honest mistake of fact, then the defendant is not guilty of most criminal offenses due to lack of criminal intent. 


Here’s a common example:


Accidentally taking someone’s property believing it was yours.


  1. Necessity


In Arizona the legal defense of “necessity” can excuse criminal conduct if it is done only to avoid “a greater harm”. 


A defendant can be acquitted if they believe that they or another person is in danger or about to be harmed and the only reasonable alternative is to do the criminal act. The necessity to commit the crime must be provable with evidence. In order for the necessity defense to prevail, a criminal lawyer must prove that there were no other reasonable alternatives available to the defendant, and thus he was forced to break the law. 


  1. Self defense or defense of others


Arizona recognizes the “castle doctrine” or the “stand your ground law” which applies to a person’s home, place of business, or other real property. An individual injuring another or using deadly force has no duty to retreat. But castle doctrine rights stop when an individual is no longer on their real property.


Key takeaway:


In general, any force used against an intruder must be reasonable and proportionate to the harm reasonably feared.


Therefore this is a valid defense against a battery crime, for example, if the accused believed that he or another person faced imminent danger and only used as much force as was reasonably necessary to diffuse that danger and escaping was not a reasonable choice or option. 


  1. Involuntary intoxication


Since most criminal statutes require “specific intent” to commit crimes, if a defendant was involuntarily intoxicated, there may be some limited cases wherein the intent element may not be able to be proven. . 


For example:


If someone slips a drug into a defendant’s drink causing them to become involuntarily intoxicated. Or another example would be if a medical doctor prescribed a drug without warning of the potential side effects. 


  1. Double jeopardy


The US Constitution protects citizens from being prosecuted for the same crime twice and facing multiple punishments for the same crime; double jeopardy. A criminal defendant cannot be tried twice in the same court for the same crime.  


So if a defendant is acquitted of a crime, prosecution cannot try for the same offense, even if new evidence comes to light.


  1. Statute of limitations


State criminal statute of limitations laws prevent criminal prosecutors from charging someone with a crime that was committed more than a specified number of years ago.


The purpose of these laws is to ensure that convictions rely only upon evidence that has not eroded with time. After the time of the statute has run, the accused is essentially free. 


Statutes of limitation generally require an accused person to be: 


  • In the state where the crime was committed. 
  • Gainfully employed. 
  • Visible and not in hiding or under an assumed identity.


Individual states establish their own criminal statute of limitations, usually with different limits for different kinds of crimes. 


Arizona statute of limitations


Accused Of Any Of These Crimes? 

Contact The Baker Law Firm- Criminal Lawyers in Phoenix that will fight for you. 


Call Or Email Us For A Free Confidential Case Evaluation 

Phone: 602-842-0359

Email: [email protected]


Additional Resources


Arizona Legal Research

Arizona Revised Statutes

Official State Codes – Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.

State Criminal Statutes of Limitations

Lawsuits: A Practical Guide


The Baker Law Firm, LLC

702 E. Coronado Road

Phoenix, AZ 85006

Phone: 602-842-0359

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