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What Is the Weakest Defense in A Criminal Case in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Being involved in a criminal case can take a toll on your life and well-being. Having a strong defense is the best way to argue effectively against any criminal charges. Regardless of the charge severity or escalation, those who are facing criminal charges are entitled to due process, but how effective this defense can be can and will vary based on how the case is presented. Weak defensive strategies or arguments can be detrimental to a case and are bound to lead to criminal convictions, so choosing a strong legal team is critical for avoiding a weak defense case. Having the right defense with an experienced legal team on your side is vital.

What Does “Criminal Defense” Mean?

Legal proceedings fall into different categories based on the content of the case. For example, divorce and child custody are considered a part of family law proceedings. Criminal defense is the branch of the law that deals with defending those accused of various crimes. Criminal defense lawyers provide legal assistance for individuals charged with criminal activity and help to clarify the circumstances that gave rise to the allegations in an effort to either disprove the accusations or obtain a lighter sentence.

Common Causes for Weak Cases

The factors that go into creating an accused person’s defense come from multiple sources, ranging from crime scene evidence to witness testimony. Depending on how strong these sources of evidence are, their usefulness in the case can make or break a defense; sometimes, including certain evidence sources in an overall defense can weaken an argument. Some of the most common weaknesses in defense cases include:

  • Unreliable Witnesses: Because witnesses are so important to the defense of criminal cases, their absence suggests that the defense has a poor case. The case is not strong enough to stand up to scrutiny if no one can support the version of events in a believable manner.
  • Illegally Collected Evidence: In every criminal defense case, evidence that was obtained dishonestly raises a red flag. When the testimony is given in court, it must have been gathered legally and with all required permits. The evidence the police seized during a home break-in could be deemed inadmissible or suppressed in court in the absence of a valid search warrant, which could in turn result in the dismissal of the charges. This isn’t always the case, though, especially if the police manage to capture a criminal in the act of committing a crime.
  • Lack Of Probable Cause: An arrest should be made only in instances when there is a strong likelihood or proof of guilt. A weak defense wouldn’t recognize a lack of probable cause. If the police locate a suspect who matches the description, they have cause to detain and question that person. For example, a citizen may report a robbery and include information about the suspect’s attire. If it can be established that a person was arrested arbitrarily and without a legal justification, the accusations against them may be withdrawn. However, the prosecution may reopen the case or reverse a dismissal plea if they can gather evidence supporting their claim.

By identifying such evidence sources, the right legal team can avoid incorporating shaky pieces of evidence into the defense strategy. Similarly, being able to recognize weak spots in the prosecution’s case can be beneficial for any defensive strategy, helping emphasize and legitimize arguments.  An experienced lawyer can help someone charged with a crime build the best defense possible.

Common Questions Regarding Case Strength


Q: What makes a case weak?

A: What makes a case weak will change depending on whether it’s from the defense or the prosecution. Generally, DNA evidence connecting someone to a crime, video footage demonstrating involvement in a crime, and tangible evidence like a murder weapon or a pistol in a robbery case are all examples of evidence that may support a case. While not all strong cases need such direct evidence, most do. The more reliable evidence there is, the more likely a conviction will occur.

Q: What is the most common defense used in a criminal trial?

A: Self-defense and defense of others are the two defenses that are most widely advanced and implemented in murder cases. An accused person might claim, for example, that while he did shoot an intruder, he did it out of self-defense because the intruder was threatening him with bodily harm. These charges rely on strong proof that shows you had no choice but to kill your attacker to save your own or another’s life.

Q: Why is relying on an alibi a weak defense?

A: Relying on any one form of defense for the entirety of your case is bound to cause problems for your case, especially when relying solely on an alibi. If your alibi is air-tight, and the information you provide as part of that alibi is verified on numerous accounts, you can be confident in your legal team’s ability to prevent you from facing any charges. On the other hand, one witness who can disprove an alibi can seriously derail your defense. Gaining the help of a strong, experienced legal team is crucial to the success of your case.

Q: What are the four most common defenses for a crime?

A: There are four main defense tactics used by criminal attorneys in criminal cases: innocence; constitutional violations; self-defense; and insanity. These defenses are accompanied by substantial evidence, of course, but depending on the facts of the case, some may seem more applicable than others. For example, in murder charges, the argument of self-defense is commonly used as a reason for the accused’s actions.

Creating A Strong, Reliable Defense

Criminal charges can range in severity and escalation, and crafting a strong defense is crucial for avoiding any harsh or unjust penalties for criminal accusations. Weak defenses are dangerous, careless, and likely to end in a criminal conviction. After being charged with any crime, you should contact an experienced Riverside criminal defense lawyer to help compile your defense and start working on your case. For experienced help with your criminal case, contact Exum Law Offices today. We will work with you to ensure you receive the best outcome possible, and develop a strong case.